Huge developments imminent for Diriyah Gate Development Authority


RIYADH: Huge developments are in the pipeline for the Diriyah Gate Development Authority before the end of the year.

Group chief executive officer, Jerry Inzerillo, told Arab News at the Future Investment Initiative forum that Diriyah would see the opening of Al-Bujairi district with 20 new restaurants, and two kilometers of Wadi Hanifah with areas dedicated to jogging and riding.

In addition, Inzerillo said: “We’re going to be opening up three experience centers, the new community center. We’ll open up the UNESCO World Heritage Site for the whole world. This is in November and December of 2022.”

He said the developments were a “huge triumph” for the Saudi leadership and that there were more in store for next year.

“Then in 2023 we have the first hotel opening and the first museums opening.

“We will plant another 6 million trees. We’ve already planted 6 million trees, so we’re going to have a very big 2022 and a very big 2023.

“Some 38 luxury hotels, 20,000 residences, 100 restaurants, new universities, new souks, new beautiful mosques. Diriyah is just beautiful,” he added.

The CEO pointed out that although the DGDA was building a new Diriyah, the area would have an authentic feel and be built from millions of mud bricks.

He said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “very strict on the preservation of cultural integrity, authenticity, very strict on environmental issues and sustainability issues, so even though we’re building a new Diriyah, it has to all be in new, authentic mud.”

He added: “We are now making 180 million mud bricks. All of the trees and the plantlings by the tens of millions can only be from Diriyah because Diriyah is not a theme park, it’s the birthplace of the Kingdom, it’s the home of Al-Saud. So, you have to keep the integrity.

“Last night we had a big reception at Al-Bujairi with our wonderful Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb. He had 200 executives from all over the world. They all said the same thing: ‘This looks so authentic. This looks so beautiful.’

“This is because it’s in those same materials. So Diriyah is meant to be a jewel in the middle of what is going to be the great Riyadh, the new Riyadh that the crown prince is planning.”

Inzerillo noted that Diriyah would be “a great gathering place” and “the soul” of the Saudi nation.

He said: “It’s the heart of anyone who’s Arabian, and it’s the heart and soul of anyone who is Saudi. That’s why we say there’s only one Diriyah.”