Historical Diriyah opens to the public
Early last month, Diriyah began a new chapter in its history as At-Turaif, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the original home of the Al Saud family, and the seat of governance of the First Saudi State, opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The opening season is set to include a vibrant public programme of events, performances and activities for all visitors to experience which will celebrate and bring the heritage site and birthplace of the Kingdom to life.
Visitors to At-Turaif during its opening season will also get the chance to visit the newly opened Bujairi Terrace, the highly anticipated culinary district that brings a wealth of carefully curated dining experiences to Diriyah. Here, guests will take a gastronomic journey through several Michelin-star restaurants as well as a number of restaurants that will be opening their first locations outside of their home countries. Additionally, several outlets have never before been seen in Saudi Arabia, providing diners with an assortment of menu options inspired by traditional Saudi and international dishes.
Overlooking the ancient crossroads of culture and trade that is At-Turaif, Bujairi Terrace is organic in its origin, built from the mud, water and straw of Diriyah used in the construction of At-Turaif. Four Michelin-starred restaurants will entice diners with their exquisite menus, including Tatel, Hakkasan, Long Chim and Chez Bruno. Internationally acclaimed Café De L’Esplanade and Chez Bruno are both debuting outside of France for the very first time.
Located in the heart of Diriyah, north-west of the capital Riyadh, At-Turaif is the birthplace of the modern Saudi state founded in 1727 and is regarded as one of the country’s most important heritage sites and a symbol of Saudi identity. For over fifty years, this area served as the principal residence of House Al Saud and the administrative district of Diriyah, the centre of a state that spanned the Arabian Peninsula. Visitors will be able to walk through a vast heritage site of restored mudbrick palaces, mosques, former defensive towers, and curated galleries that tell the definitive story of Saudi Arabia’s formation and the rise of the Saudi dynasty. A beautiful example of the distinct Nadji-style architecture, At-Turaif is one of the most historically significant and architecturally impressive mudbrick settlements in the world.Open all year round and with no ticket required on weekdays until 4 pm, visitors will be able to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site across a variety of mediums to suit their own interests. From guided tours, offered every 30 minutes in Arabic and English; to Nuzul, an immersive theatre across an entire street of the district bringing to life the people and stories from At-Turaif and the surrounding areas; to watching an Al Ardah performance, a dance of vigour and victory of such traditional and historical importance that it is now recognized as a UNESCO intangible heritage asset.
DIRIYAH GATE SIGNS 16 NEW HOTELS
Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), responsible for the transformation of Diriyah, announced adding 16 new global hotel brands to its already impressive hospitality portfolio. Bringing the total to 32 hotel management agreements with the world’s most prestigious hotel brands, with the first hotel planned to open in 2023.
The 16 hotel brands slated to open will be situated across two of DGDA’s masterplan areas – Diriyah and Wadi Safar.
The brands range from a mix of luxury to upscale lifestyle brands, among them Anantara, Corinthia Hotels, EDITION Hotels, Taj Hotels, The Langham, Waldorf Astoria, Pendry Hotels & Resorts, Treehouse Hotel, Hyatt Place, Moxy Hotels, Radisson RED, Faena Hotel, Montage Hotels & Resorts, and The Chedi by GHM Hotels.