RIYADH (RAHNUMA): Isolated in the Kingdom’s northwestern desert, the small town of AlUla is not only sharing its historic treasures with the world but also giving residents a new design and feel to their homes.
As well as invigorating tourism, reviving the economy, generating jobs and sending youth abroad for scholarships, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is enhancing the lives of residents by designing their homes as part of a major urban regeneration project for the historic Saudi location.
The AlUla Design Studio (UDS), launched by RCU, is a new public service that aims to help locals shape the future development of their community.
“We’re driven by good design, good outcomes, by protecting our heritage, the environment, and by making sure that we create sustainable infrastructure,” Stephen Murray, chief of county zoning and planning at the RCU, told Arab News.
“We would like to be a model not only for Saudi Arabia but also the world (on) how you can design new places, live with the environment, be sustainable and protect it, but also open it to the world.”
Murray said that the commission wants to invite the entire world, including locals, to enjoy AlUla. “It’s not about just tourists from overseas, it’s about everyone.”
The first phase of the scheme will concentrate on regeneration in AlUla South, focusing on the creation of more green spaces, including parks, playgrounds and playing fields, with the revitalized Wadi AlUla as a connecting natural thread.
“One of the things we’ve looked at, at the royal commission, is creating great places to live, creating neighborhoods, places where people enjoy and the community can grow together,” said Murray.
The RCU wants to promote AlUla town as a model of urban planning, regeneration and quality of life in the Kingdom, and the UDS initiative will provide residents of AlUla South with the chance to choose property styles that suit their locality.