Ecotourism project protects wildlife, promotes jobs in Saudi Arabia

Wadi Al Disah is located in the north-west of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve and southwest of Tabuk. (Supplied)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Ecotourism project protects wildlife, promotes jobs in Saudi Arabia

  • The Wadi Al-Disah Development Project will promote economic diversification and create investment opportunities for the private sector

JEDDAH: A major sustainable tourism project that will promote jobs while protecting the local environment and wildlife has been launched by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve in the Kingdom’s northwest.
The PIF on Tuesday announced the launch of the Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions thanks to the site’s moderate climate, distinctive mountainous terrain and flowing springs.
The fund will establish a company to develop the project in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
The new company will contribute to the creation of sustainable tourism and related job opportunities, supporting the Kingdom’s economic diversification and unlocking new assets in Saudi Arabia.
The announcement of the project follows the launch of the Amaala luxury tourism development in September, which will be the focal point of the tourism ecosystem within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve.
The location, between NEOM, the Red Sea Development Project, Amaala and Al-Ula projects, will ensure a diverse and unique tourism offering, and offer a compelling investment opportunity for the private sector.
Wadi Al-Disah is situated in the northwest section of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve, southwest of Tabuk.
The word “Al-Disah” means a valley of palm trees. The surrounding mountains and rock formations are expected to be popular with climbers of all levels. Other attractions include archaeological sites such as facades of Nabataean tombs, and the remains of walls containing Nabataean and Arabic writings in Kufic script.
The Wadi Al-Disah Development Project will promote economic diversification and create investment opportunities for the private sector.
The project aims to contribute to the development of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, preserve cultural and environmental heritage, and achieve sustainability in line with Vision 2030.


Huge free bus service to speed fans to the 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix action

Updated 26 min 35 sec ago
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Huge free bus service to speed fans to the 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix action

  • Multiple pick-up points around the city, at malls and hotels, with easy access to Ad Diriyah so ticket holders can relax and leave the car at home

RIYADH: One of the biggest free ‘Park & Ride’ public shuttle bus systems Saudi Arabia has ever laid on for an event will swing into action for the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, which gets underway this week.
The festival of Formula E racing, entertainment, international music acts and cultural activities starts on at 4pm Thursday December 13, at the stunning UNESCO heritage site of Ad Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh.
Plus, on the evening of December 13, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo will kick off the first of three incredible nights of music concerts for Formula E ticket holders. The following day, December 14, Arab music legend Amr Diab and globally-renowned pop band Black Eyed Peas will delight the audience. And, on December 15, race day, following the exhilarating 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will bring the event to an electrifying finale.
Only fans holding tickets will be able to access the entire Ad Diriyah site including the race track, the concert arena and the complimentary concerts and the 180,000 sq m Allianz E Village.
So, with thousands set to descend on the site, officials are ensuring that fans can race to the action, with a huge network of free buses created to cut down on traffic and embrace more sustainable transport alternatives in keeping with Formula E’s message.

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al-Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Saudi Arabia is on a journey toward sustainability and Formula E’s message of renewable energy and working to minimize its environmental footprint is inspiring and important.
“We want Formula E to electrify and inspire the next generation of Saudis to embrace sustainable forms of transport.
“That’s why, in keeping with other Formula E races around the world, we’ll be encouraging ticket holders to take advantage of the ‘Park & Ride’. Cars trying to get to Ad Diriyah without specific access will not have access and will be directed to use the public ‘Park & Ride’. So, relax, leave the car at home, and leave the driving to us.
“Our partnership with Formula E is for the next decade and this is one small step we can take together. At SAMF we are committed to improving driving standards and driving conditions and encouraging responsible driving.”
Single day and three-day Grandstand ticket holders can benefit from a ‘Park & Ride’ service, which will operate from King Saud University, with space for up to 7,000 cars.
Plus, shuttle buses will operate a ‘City Park & Ride’ network from a number of locations across Riyadh with pick-up points at Al Faisaliah, Narcissus Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Fraser Suites, Holiday Inn Al Meydan, Holiday Inn Olaya, Aloft hotel, Burj Rafal Kempinski Hotel, Sheraton Riyadh Hotel, Executive KAFD Hotel, Movenpick Riyadh Hotel, Marriott King Saud Rd Hotel, Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Panorama Mall and Riyadh Park Mall.
On each day it will begin operating an hour before Ad Diriyah opens. Shuttles start 3pm on Thursday (ahead of venue opening at 4pm), 1pm on Friday (venue opens 2pm) and finally 9am on Saturday (race day, venue opens 10am).
Uber, Careems or official taxis will be directed to a ‘drop off’ area in the general parking area.
Drivers without the official Formula E parking pass will not have access to Ad Diriyah and will be directed to use the public ‘Park & Ride’
If you are a Grandstand ticket holder, whether a single day or a three-day ticket holder, you need to purchase three tickets to qualify for one parking pass.
For every three Grandstand tickets purchased the buyer gets one pass into the general parking area.
If no parking pass, then you must use the ‘Park & Ride’.
Tickets are on sale here and are also available at Point of Sale units at Riyadh Park Mall, Oud Square and Doos Carting (only Grandstand tickets from Doos) and Seven Car Lounge.