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Insights What is the AlUla Project and what will it bring to Saudi Arabia?

While you might not immediately think of Saudi Arabia as a typical tourist destination, that may soon change. Culture vultures, adventure seekers, and history buffs will soon flock to explore Saudi Arabia’s rich built heritage in places such as AlUla.

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan has invested heavily in the country’s heritage and ecological assets. There are currently hundreds of ongoing Vision 2030 projects, including AlUla, as Saudi prepares to welcome foreign visitors to enjoy the nature, archaeology, and culture it has to offer. 

What is the AlUla Project?

The AlUla Project is a long-term plan to explore and preserve a “living museum” of cultural heritage. The country plans to transform this awe-inspiring desert landscape into a tourist destination for intrepid travellers eager to see preserved tombs, monuments, and sandstone structures.

The Project, under the direction of the Royal Commission for AlUla, includes the Nabataean city of Hegra, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2008, making it the country’s first. In addition to this precious heritage asset, the AlUla Project also includes sites from the ancient North Arabian Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, and AlUla Old Town, an important pilgrim’s rest-site dating to 1100 CE.

This exciting and world-class project will see Saudi Arabia’s tangible cultural heritage in the global spotlight it deserves and open many new jobs in Saudi Arabia.

What are the objectives of the AlUla project?

The AlUla Project has three main objectives:

  • Developing the area into a ‘living museum’ with an emphasis on ecotourism to attract visitors who want an “immersive and responsible experience.”
  • Involving the local community at the heart of the project, ensuring they benefit from an influx in tourism. The project will prioritise agriculture, hospitality, and arts and offer education and employment opportunities for locals, creating more jobs in the Middle East.
  • Prioritising sustainability and environmental stewardship so that jobs in Saudi Arabia don’t come at the cost of flora, fauna, and water. 

What are the sub-projects of AlUla?

In addition to the main goals of AlUla, the Project has four main sub-projects.

  • Scholarships Program – Scholarships will be made available for prestigious international universities, offering local students exciting opportunities in diverse fields that benefit the Project.
  • Hammaya Program – Offering local youth the chance to become ambassadors for the project and learn about heritage preservation and sustainability.
  • The Sharaan Resort and Nature Reserve – A luxury holiday destination scheduled to open in 2024, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to seamlessly integrate with the natural setting.
  • The Global Fund for the Arabian Leopard – Balancing the natural environment to benefit the Arabian Leopard, a critically endangered species that once thrived in the AlUla mountain region.

Sustainability and the AlUla Project

Sustainability is a top priority throughout every aspect of the AlUla Project. Saudi Arabia recognises that their cultural heritage sites exist in fragile ecosystems – environmental stewardship is crucial for future generations to benefit from and enjoy these assets. 

The Kingdom is at the forefront of fighting climate change, with a commitment to net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2060. Due to its desert climate and extreme heat, KSA’s sustainability goals are urgent, and the government and private sector are treating them with the immediacy they deserve.

As a part of Vision 2030, the AlUla Project embraces KSA’s three main objectives: lean energy, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the environment. Accordingly, every project and sub-project listed above has been designed around these objectives.

Find your next role in Saudi Arabia at AtkinsRéalis

No matter your interests and field, there are many exciting mega-project opportunities available in KSA with AtkinsRéalis .

The AtkinsRéalis Group encompasses several businesses: AtkinsRéalis , Atkins, Faithful+Gould and Acuity. They have an excellent international reputation as a global company providing procurement, engineering, and construction. AtkinsRéalis offers a high-performance culture and champions Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) in KSA and globally.

The Vision 2030 Project is revitalising the entire country – this is your chance to work on projects such as Revitalising Historic Jeddah, developing a bus trial in Riyadh, opening a new King’s College Hospital in Jeddah, and developing the Red Sea Coast as a luxury resort. Engineering jobs, project management jobs, and architecture and planning jobs are among the available jobs in Saudi Arabia for dynamic, motivated professionals.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by - find out more about jobs in Saudi Arabia, join the talent community, and sign up for job alerts today.