RIYADH, (DNA) — The historical city of Diriyah, the birthplace of the first Saudi state, is hosting the cornerstone-laying event organized by the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) on Wednesday to inaugurate the Diriyah Gate project.
It aims to restore the historical city as a cultural heritage project, and restore it to its former state, to become a local and international tourist destination.
The event comes as the country continues its transformation plans in line with Vision 2030, with Diriyah considered one of the most prominent destinations for tourism and culture. The event will also feature fireworks and a performance by an orchestra.
Residents and visitors alike can walk 3 km along natural trails overlooking Wadi Hanifa and the historic Turaif neighborhood, while pedestrians roam the streets of the Diriyah Gate through the 2.5 km paved road.
Diriyah Gate Project will kick off in earnest at the beginning of 2020, and will be one of the biggest projects within the Kingdom’s plans, at a cost of more than SR64 billion ($17 billion).
It will become a mixed-use traditional urban community, home to over 100,000 tourists, guests, residents and students at a time.
It is hoped Diriyah Gate will attract 25 to 30 million visitors annually, to enjoy word-class cultural, educational and recreational facilities, including museums and galleries that will offer visitors interactive and fun experiences.
The project will also include exhibitions, restaurants and arts academies that will launch educational initiatives in local specializations, including Arabic calligraphy, Islamic arts, Najdi architectural style, Najdi cuisine arts, theater, and Arab music.