A new Chedi property will be established within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hegra in AlUla.
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) which is tasked with developing AlUla, has selected luxury hotel management company General Hotel Management (GHM) to operate The Chedi Hegra.
The boutique hotel will feature only 35 guest rooms and is expected to open to guests by Q4 2023.
RCU said that it is building the hotel directly into several existing structures including an old railway station and its surrounding buildings, as well as the Hegra Fort, among other structures.
The property will feature three fine-dining restaurants, a café, a spa and a pool. One of the restaurants inside the old railway station will feature an exhibition of artefacts, as well as a fully-restored train, while another will sit within the Hegra Fort, and a third will look out from a sunken water basin seating area.
Many of the buildings that form a part of the hotel will be connected by an overhead art canopy focused on wind movement and natural light.
RCU added that the structural and exterior walls, some with historical mud-brick construction, are being preserved and integrated with the modern architecture of the hotel.
However, the majority of the UNESCO World Heritage Site will remain untouched by the construction.
Where possible, the project will use local construction materials and also work with local businesses and labour. The hotel is expected to create at least 120 jobs once fully operational.
Tommy Lai, chief executive officer of GHM said, “GHM is thrilled to introduce this luxurious heritage boutique hotel that will offer authentic, unrivalled lifestyle experience deep within the ancient Nabataean site of Hegra. As the first hotel within Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, we are committed to preserve the site’s integrity while seamlessly integrating modern architecture and comforts. I am certain that guests will recognise and appreciate the value we place in minimising our environmental impact, through the sustainable efforts of the hotel, in addition to our dedication in conserving the legacy of Hegra.
Earlier this year, GHM signed an agreement with Neom Hotel Development to manage a new Chedi property which will be built within the giga project of Neom in Saudi Arabia. The Chedi Trojena will be located within the Slope Residences in Trojena’s Relax Cluster that focuses on rejuvenation and wellness programmes.
Meanwhile in the neighbouring country of Qatar, The Chedi Katara Hotel and Resort opened in Doha towards the end of last year. Located in the Katara Cultural Village, The Chedi Katara is a 91-key resort with 59 rooms and suites with sea views. That resort also features 32 villas, each with its own private garden and pool.