AlUla, a global heritage destination in north-east Saudi Arabia, made major announcements last month in a bid to boost its hospitality and tourism offerings.
At least four new luxury hotel projects were unveiled, all of which will highlight the region’s beauty and rich history.
The construction of Sharaan Resort, designed by Jean Nouvel, is inspired by the ancient techniques of the Nabataean inhabitants who crafted their monuments as integral to the local landscape more than 2,000 years ago. The resort will have 53 keys, divided amongst suites, hospitality pavilions and villas built into the mountain of Sharaan Nature Reserve.
The second hotel is the Chedi Hegra that will be the first hotel to be located in Saudi Arabia’s Unesco World Heritage Site of Hegra. Set to welcome guests by Q4 2023, the heritage boutique hotel will offer 35 guest rooms, each offering a distinct connection to Hegra’s monumental landscape.
The upscale eco-lodge Dar Tantora by The House Hotel is currently under construction in AlUla Old Town with an opening slated for 2024. Its 30 guest rooms are being developed by restoring and repurposing historical mud-brick buildings using modern engineering in tandem with traditional materials and techniques.
Another new resort that will be designed in harmony with the natural environment and aligned with the Sustainability Charter for AlUla, Saudi Green Initiative, and Vision 2030 will take shape within the Journey Through Time (JTT) masterplan.
The Azulik AlUla Resort is a stunning eco-luxury property in the Nabataean Horizon District of the JTT masterplan, tucked into canyons near the AlMutadil Equestrian Village development and Wadi AlFann, an ancient valley that will soon be home to large-scale artworks in the landscape.
Slated to launch in 2027, the resort will feature 76 luxury villas of six different varieties, spa, VIP club, welcome lounges, all-day dining, and a SFER IK museum. It will be operated by Mexican luxury brand Azulik and designed by Roth Architecture.
Meanwhile, the RCU has appointed key architects – Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan – for two prominent museums in AlUla. Ghotmeh will be responsible for designing the contemporary art museum, while Khan will lead the design of the museum of the Incense Road.
Khan, recognised for his radical approach to architecture and his ongoing work on the renewal of the Barbican Centre and the new London Museum, will lead the design of the museum of the Incense Road. This groundbreaking institution will be the world’s first museum dedicated to the ancient trade routes, showcasing AlUla’s pivotal role as a cultural hub at the intersection of civilisations.