Diriyah in Saudi Arabia has announced the first 14 of its 38 hotels which will be opened in coming years at the development north-west of Riyadh.
Diriyah is the historic capital of Saudi Arabia, and is a 15-minute drive of its present capital, Riyadh. It is undergoing a $50 billion investment to “both celebrate the early history of Saudi Arabia, and offer up a collection of museums and cultural attractions, high-end retail and luxury hotels”.
At the heart of Diriyah is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the original home of the Saudi Arabian royal family and the country’s first Saudi State. The intention is to build a new community in an authentic Najdi architectural style, typical of Saudi villages of centuries past. At its centre will be the historic city of At-Turaif which was built in 1766 and has been recognised as one of the world’s foremost mud-brick cities as well as being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
The first of the hotels to open will be The Luxury Collection in Diriyah, Riyadh, operated by Marriott International. It will be situated in the Samhan district. It will open in 2022 and have 141 rooms, including 27 suites; two restaurants: an all-day-dining restaurant, and a coffee and juice bar, a fitness centre, pool and spa, plus meeting and event facilities.
Scheduled to open in 2025, The Ritz-Carlton, Diriyah, Riyadh will have 195 rooms and suites, a specialty restaurant, an all-day dining venue, meeting rooms, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre. Ritz Kids, the brand’s signature kids’ club and programming are part of the vision, as are a signature spa and immersive guest programmes.
Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) is overseeing two master plans for the development: Diriyah Gate and Wadi Safar.
Other hotel brands coming to Diriyah Gate include
- Address Hotels & Resorts
- Baccarat Hotels & Resorts
- Campbell Gray Hotels and Resorts
- Capella Hotels and Resorts
- LXR Hotels & Resorts
- Orient Express
- Park Hyatt
- Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Hotels announced for Wadi Safar which is to the west of Diriyah are
- Six Senses.
Already open at the development is the Bujairi Terrace, a dining hub with views of At-Turaif; and the 141-key Samhan Heritage Hotel. Wadi Hanifah, a two square kilometre space accessible from the escarpment walk, will provide passive and active recreational spaces and boutique hospitality venues; places to unwind and spend the afternoon with family and friends in the beautiful wadi surroundings.
The development is one of several ‘Giga projects’ being planned by the Saudi Arabian state under Vision 2030.
The Saudi Arabian Giga Projects: a guide