Saudi Arabia: Enhancing cultural gems to boost tourism

Diriyah Gate

Eager to refine its tourism allure, Saudi Arabia will be developing the major archaeological sites of Al-Ola and Diriyah Gate, following a royal decree by King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Both areas are of historic, cultural and architectural importance, and are expected to attract both local and international travellers.

The recently issued Royal Orders for the establishment of the Royal Commission for Al-Ola Province and Diriyah Gate Renovation Commission form part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to develop the country’s tourism infrastructure, to attract over one million tourists annually.


The town of Al-Ola, which is located 380km north of Madinah, was founded in the sixth century and serves as the gateway to the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mada’en Saleh, built over 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans, who also carved Petra in Jordan.

Diriyah, a small city 20km from Riyadh, was the first capital of the Saudi Royal Dynasty, from 1744 to 1818. The town is a fascinating example of Najdi architecture from that period.