The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs’ Eastern Province Municipality has invited expressions of interest (EoIs) for the development of Phase One of Pulse of Al-Khobar, an integrated cultural centre in the heart of Al Khobar in the Eastern Province.

The scope of work includes development of a souq within the Al Olaya neighbourhood in the heart of Al Khobar. The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture.

Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said the project seeks to develop and activate the old marketplace of Al Khobar and turn it into a permanent platform for cultural activities in various sectors.

“It aims to establish a cultural incubator for talented people in the cultural sectors such as theatre and performing arts, music, visual arts, and culinary arts,” he said.

On the choice of the project site, the minister said Al Olaya neighbourhood was selected for its strategic location as it has the potential to become a hub for tourism, culture and arts in Al Khobar, in addition to diversifying investment opportunities, creating opportunities for small and medium enterprises, and increasing investment opportunities.

The project, which will benefit from the old market buildings, will include markets and spaces for sports, exhibitions for plastic arts, crafts, teaching arts for children and amateur artists, It will also comprise studios for artists, art cafes, a specialised area for musical instruments and their maintenance and space for musical performances, he explained.

The project also includes an area to develop children’s vocal performance capabilities and music education, public squares that include an open theatre, and a facility for visual arts in addition to areas for selling new and second hand books, area for displaying archaeological artifacts, an interactive area for teaching book production and binding, and a library area.

The Pulse of Khobar will also be home to a mini farmers’ market in addition to a library specialised in culinary arts, restaurants, cafes,  in addition to an area for organic products. 

The project aims to enhance the returns from municipal real estate with a view to achieving development and financial sustainability of cities and boosting quality of life.