RIYADH: Diriyah Gate Development Authority was recognized globally during the Heavent Awards for the royal inauguration event of the birthplace in the Kingdom.
“To receive this global award in such a prestigious field makes me incredibly proud. I dedicate this honor to the staff at DGDA and [Executive Visions Inc.] who were integral in making it happen,” Jerry Inzerillo, DGDA Group CEO said.
DGDA partnered with EVI to inaugurate the first brick being laid to preserve the UNESCO-inscribed heritage site of Diriyah.
A ceremony was held in Paris on April 21 where representatives from DGDA and EVI accepted the award. The Heavent Awards is a globally recognized ceremony celebrating the achievements of international events.
“Witnessing our vision being brought to life creatively by EVI and then seeing it being delivered through hours of work by everyone involved — from construction, design, and logistics to communications and guest services — was immensely rewarding for me personally,” Inzerillo said.
The event marked the inauguration of the $50.6 billion project to preserve the birthplace of the First Saudi State and develop Diriyah as a global tourist destination.
DGDA aims to transform 14 square kilometers of Diriyah into one of the world’s foremost historic tourism destinations.
“To lead a project like Diriyah is both a wonderful privilege and a huge responsibility. I knew that, as we laid the first foundation stone at Diriyah soon after Saudi Arabia had opened its doors to the world, we had the expectation of a Kingdom on our shoulders,” Inzerillo said.
In November 2019, the royal inauguration was attended by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“We had to create an event that was befitting of such a historic moment and did justice to the high ambition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose wisdom and foresight guide us every day,” the DGDA CEO highlighted.
The royal inauguration consisted of multiple aerial props, live performances, complex 3D projections on a 350-meter mudbrick wall, a firework show, and a 100-piece symphony orchestra.
“To tell a story of this magnitude through the lens of broadcast in a UNESCO World Heritage site where the history of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula were born was a true honor,” Inzerillo said.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled at the global recognition of this event,” he added.
The main segment of the inauguration consisted of a 38-minute film with an original score exclusively produced for the event.
“We at EVI and all of our extended teams around the world from over 50 nationalities were privileged to serve DGDA under the leadership of His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, minister of tourism, and Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo,” Michael Marto, executive chairman and CEO of EVI, said.
DGDA was established in July 2017 to preserve Diriyah’s history and build the Kingdom’s birthplace into a global hub for tourism. DGDA aims to create an environment that enhances Diriyah’s historical and cultural values while embracing and welcoming modern tourism.