In Diriyah, I am enchanted by the majestic site of At-Turaif
On this national occasion, I would like to wish all Saudis a very happy national day. I hope that this celebration will represent a renewed momentum with serenity in light of the resilience of all the countries that have fought the virus until today, after the painful ordeals during the former months caused by the health crisis. In Saudi Arabia, this momentum is that of the Vision 2030, supported by the Franco-Saudi strategic partnership, serving the development of our relationships, our economies and our societies.
France is pragmatically standing by Saudi Arabia in many areas and is delighted to contribute, with the commitment of its companies, to long-term structuring partnerships in emerging sectors in particular, such as energy, digital, space or tourism. Since my arrival to Saudi Arabia as French Ambassador, I have been delighted by the many visits I have made and meetings I have held, all over the country, in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and AlUla of course, the Kingdom’s jewel. I am very proud of the progress made by the partnership between the Royal Commission of AlUla and the French Agency for AlUla, with all the French companies and experts involved in the field of territorial development and hospitality, training, heritage, culture and many more.
Culture and heritage are the sectors of the future in Saudi Arabia, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. This is proven by the Ministry of Culture and its teams’ various and increasing cultural initiatives in recent years on one hand and of the MiSK Foundation and Ithra’s Red Sea International Film Festival on the other. Not to mention, the dozens of archaeological sites that are the subject of studies and development projects, for which France is proud to be one of Saudi Arabia’s first partners for over 20 years.
Stuck between the origins and the future, Diriyah is also undoubtedly one of the icons of this national holiday.
During my visit to the site, I was fascinated by the link between the historical cradle of the Kingdom and the ambitious urban development projects, including the objective of making Riyadh one of the most livable cities in the world.
In Diriyah, I was first enchanted by the majestic site of At-Turaif, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010, and by the conservation of the palaces that illuminate Wadi Hanifah with their heights and offer a magical site, especially in the evening. I was also impressed with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority’s development plan, in light of the explanations given by its CEO Jerry Inzerillo.
This project is both marked by the historical character of the site, with the influence of the Najdi style and founded by the development of important districts which will concentrate a recreational, cultural and artistic offer, highlighted in particular by the organization of a next biennial.
These neighborhoods have already been marked by resounding international events, whether it is the first editions of Formula E or the Diriyah Season, which I look forward to discovering at its upcoming edition. Diriyah embodies, without a doubt, the roots and ambition of the Kingdom and I am delighted that many French people will soon be able to visit the site and, even more, contribute to its development.