Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) plans to implement the kingdom’s own version of France’s world-famous Champs-Elysees.

Plans for the ambitious project were announced during the Saudi-French Strategic Partnership for Designing Sustainable Cities for Tomorrow tour in Riyadh by DGDA CEO Jerry Inzerillo, said an Arab News report.

DGDA is spearheading an ambitious $50 billion programme to restore, preserve and celebrate Diriyah as the beating cultural heart of Saudi Arabia with a diverse collection of museums and cultural institutes, hotels and lifestyle, retail and F&B units.

Inzerillo said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman wanted to connect the cultural identity and the heritage of Diriyah Gate 1 to the university (King Saud University) in Diriyah Gate 2, thereby connecting the kingdom’s past and its present with its future.

The project will draw inspiration from Champs-Elysees, but will highlight Saudi Arabia’s history and heritage.  It is envisaged the avenue will include a contemporary art museum, convention centre, opera house, and mosques along its route.

The boulevard project will fall under the Diriyah Gate 2 project but full details on the scale of the project have yet to be released. According to the authority the project is still in its early stages and has yet to be given an official name, said the report.

“We are now 97 per cent done with the design of what we call Diriyah Gate 1, and we are very advanced in Diriyah Gate 2 and will be starting the design of Diriyah Gate 3 soon in addition to the 60-km Wadi Safar development,” said Inzerillo.

Meanwhile, DGDA has signed an MoU with the National Housing Company (NHC) to facilitate collaboration in mutual areas that serve the housing sector, improving urban planning, and offering designs that meet building codes around Wadi Hanifah and its tributaries.

The agreement aims to facilitate further integration between the two parties and offer more design options to NHC clients within the authority’s jurisdiction, said DGDA.

Together, they will conduct a series of joint workshops, initiatives, and projects to exchange data, statistics, and expertise, it added.

On the NHC deal, Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo said: “It is significant since one of the workshops involved is a joint design studio between DGDA and NHC and its affiliated architects, who would be informing the authority of all its initiatives within the latter’s jurisdiction.”

The two sides will also explore avenues for further collaboration as and when agreed upon. In addition, the authority will be holding workshops to elaborate on the building codes applicable around the Wadi Hanifah area, stated Inzerillo.