|17 October, 2019

Saudi Arabia unveils mega Diriyah Gate project masterplan

Key highlights of Diriyah Gate project are the setting up of world’s largest Islamic museum, the restoration of historic Wadi Hanifa

A man works in the restoration of the ruins of the city of Diriyah, 20km (12 miles) west of Riyadh September 20, 2012.

A man works in the restoration of the ruins of the city of Diriyah, 20km (12 miles) west of Riyadh September 20, 2012.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Saudi-based Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) unveiled the masterplan for its 7.1 million-sq-m mega project coming up on the western side of capital Riyadh at a recent industry event in the kingdom.

The key highlights of Diriyah Gate project are the setting up of world’s largest Islamic museum, the restoration of historic Wadi Hanifa with the planting of over one million indigenous Diriyah date trees, and the transformation of the beautiful Wadi Safar into a residential and hospitality district to become the Beverly Hills of Riyadh, said Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

Inzerillo was delivering his keynote speech at The Joy Entertainment Forum organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) in Riyadh.

The summit, which has been inspired by the kingdom’s Vision 2030, brought together entertainment heavyweights from around the world with the aim of discussing ways to foster a joyful culture and create a vibrant society, whilst building bridges with Saudi government and business officials.

Titled, “There is Only One Diriyah”, Inzerillo’s presentation focused on the link between entertainment and culture, and the exciting steps DGDA is undertaking with the direct leadership of Saud King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to open the doors of Diriyah to the world.

Inzerillo, an industry veteran with over 50 years of experience developing remarkable hospitality and entertainment projects, said the Diriyah’s masterplan gives emphasis on the kingdom's three goals - to preserve, develop and celebrate the much-loved home of Saudi culture.

Whilst culture and heritage will be evident throughout the project, Jerry also stressed the importance of entertainment and fun in the vision for Diriyah, which will be catered to with an array of sporting, hospitality and leisure activities.

"It was a great pleasure speaking at the Joy Forum, as it reminds us that entertainment and leisure activities are vital parts of a healthy and engaged society. But we can’t have a future without honoring the past, which is why Diriyah is so important with its legacy as the land of Kings and Heroes; a legacy of celebration," remarked Inzerillo.

Considered one of the kingdom’s most important historical sites and the capital of the first Saudi state, Diriyah is home to the Unesco World Heritage site of At Turaif, a mud-brick city that stands as the birthplace of the first Saudi state.

"With hospitality, leisure and entertainment assets in our development plans, we’re hoping to attract millions of tourists who will fall in love with Diriyah, as there is only one Diriyah," he added.

DGDA will start work on the mega development next month, following the approval of three detailed plans for the development of Diriyah by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It will oversee the restoration of Diriyah and develop a number of major new historical and tourism assets including museums, academic institutions and edutainment facilities, as well as resorts, restaurants, wellness facilities and high-end retail outlets, he added.

The Joy Entertainment Forum was attended by a number of high-profile industry leaders, celebrities, international speakers, ministers and experts, who discussed a range of topics, including ways to enrich and enhance quality of life besides diversifying the economy, the impact of technology on entertainment, the future of digital gaming, virtual entertainment, communicating with the designers of entertainment cities, and competitive sports.-TradeArabia News Service

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