February 20, 2019
Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla engaged in discussions surrounding opportunities for bilateral cooperation with India in areas such as heritage conservation, eco-tourism and agriculture. The RCU comes to India as part of a high-level delegation led by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to New Delhi, India. Saudi Arabia and India have been long time trade partners and the visit highlights the Kingdom’s commitment to bolstering ties with India and the East more broadly.
Saudi Arabia and India have had common strategic interests and the Kingdom has been India’s principal source of crude imports from the Gulf region. The delegation led by His Royal Highness explored areas for potential cooperation, in line with the Royal Commission’s commitments to involving the world in the development and preservation plans for AlUla.
As part of the visit, The Royal Commission discussed its development efforts in the AlUla region. Given the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and India, the RCU delegation also explored specific areas for cooperation pertaining to cultural exchange, nature and ecotourism, heritage conservation and agriculture.
"Our visit to New Delhi is an exciting opportunity to invite the world to share in our efforts to protect AlUla’s natural heritage and share its’ rich cultural history. AlUla is a journey through time that activates the senses. AlUla transcends borders and our presence here today is a testament to that spirit of cultural exchange and international collaboration,” Remarked Amr AlMadani, CEO, RCU.
Set in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s northwest region, AlUla contains a number of archaeological treasures and ancient cities, with evidence of major civilizations, including most notably the Dadan/Lihyan and the Nabataean kingdoms. Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site was the prominent southern capital of the Nabataeans.
On 10 February, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla, the Royal Commission launched its vision to responsibly develop AlUla into a world-heritage destination centered around the region’s spectacular natural and cultural heritage.
As part of this commitment to responsible development and conservation. The Royal Commission announced the designation of the Sharaan valley as a nature reserve, the development of a luxury resort called the Sharaan resort, which will be designed by visionary architect Jean Nouvel and carved into the natural rock formations of AlUla. Lastly, the Commission announced its plans to create the Global Fund for the Arabian Leopard, the largest protection fund dedicated to this critically endangered species.
For any media enquiries please contact the RCU Public Relations team at: PublicRelations@rcu.gov.sa
Notes to Editors
About The Royal Commission for AlUla
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to protect and safeguard AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in North-West Saudi Arabia.
RCU is embarking on a long-term plan to develop and deliver a sensitive, sustainable transformation of the region, reaffirming it as one of country’s most important archaeological and cultural destinations and preparing it to welcome visitors from around the world. RCU’s development work in AlUla encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education and the arts, reflecting the ambitious commitment to cultivate tourism and leisure in Saudi Arabia, outlined in Vision 2030.
Located 1,100 km from Riyadh, in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years to when the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms reigned.
The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of more than 100 well preserved tombs with elaborate facades cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement. Current research suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after conquering the Nabataeans in 106 CE.
In addition to Hegra, AlUla is home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites such as: Al-Khuraybah (ancient Dadan), the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms, which is considered one of the most developed 1st-millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula; thousands of ancient rock art sites and inscriptions.