Historic Diriyah a pillar of new Saudi era

The DGDA signed landmark deals with Aman, a luxury resort developer, and the Greg Norman Golf Course Design Company at the Open Hearts, Open Doors event on Sept. 27.
Updated 30 September 2019

Historic Diriyah a pillar of new Saudi era

Diriyah Gate, a sweeping 19th century adobe city that is the birthplace of the Saudi nation, will be soon unveiled to world leaders and notable guests as a major educational, cultural, recreational, and hospitality hub on the banks of the Hanifa Valley in the heart of the capital city of Riyadh.

Established in July 2017, Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) is tasked with preserving Diriyah’s history, celebrating its community and developing the historic site into one of the world’s greatest gathering places and a hub for Saudi culture and heritage, and tourism. The DGDA signed landmark deals with Aman, a luxury resort developer, and the Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) Company at the Open Hearts, Open Doors event on Sept. 27 that introduced the splendors of Diriyah to the world.

The boutique Aman hotel will be built in Al-Bujairi, the lifestyle and culture hub of the Diriyah Gate megaproject. Aman resorts are renowned for their luxury and personalized service. With no lobbies, bellboys, or reception desks, Aman has upended the typical model of the hospitality industry. Its Diriyah Gate property will have spectacular views of the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Meanwhile, the 27-hole Wadi Safar Golf Course will be designed by the GNGCD, one of the world’s leading golf course developers, in an exclusive residential district being developed by DGDA in a verdant valley west of Riyadh.

The Diriyah announcement comes as the Kingdom releases details of its new eVisa system, which also came into effect Sept. 27. 

“The Diriyah Gate development will serve as a gathering place and pillar of Saudi Arabia’s new era of openness. We are incredibly excited about our partnerships with Greg Norman and the resort developer Aman, unveiled just this week, as they offer a taste of the type of unprecedented collaborations we are seeking in our mission to make Diriyah a global icon and the Arabian Peninsula’s must-visit destination,” said Gerard Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of DGDA.

Under the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 strategic plan, tourism has been identified as a major growth sector, with Saudi Arabia making huge strides in opening up in recent years with the introduction of a wide range of cultural festivals, concerts and sporting events.

DGDA’s role in this cultural expansion includes hosting the Formula E auto racing events, the upcoming Diriyah Season’s series of concerts, and the much-anticipated heavyweight title boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. in December.

Asked to remark on Diriyah’s positioning among global cultural destination icons, Inzerillo said: “There’s only one Diriyah. All are welcome to experience the jewel of the Kingdom for themselves.”


MBRSC & Nat Geo air film on UAE astronauts

Updated 27 May 2020

MBRSC & Nat Geo air film on UAE astronauts

National Geographic, in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), has aired a new film documenting the UAE’s extraordinary journey into space. The 22-minute eye-gripping documentary, the second in a four-part film series, premiered on May 25 on National Geographic and National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

Capturing the journey of UAE Astronauts Hazzaa Al-Mansoori and Sultan Al-Neyadi, the documentary highlights their dreams and aspirations, which inspired them to follow their ambitions to become astronauts. The film also highlights the hundreds of hours of mental and physical training that enabled them to successfully complete the UAE’s historic mission to reach the International Space Station (ISS).

Celebrating the first Emirati astronaut mission, the National Geographic film depicts Al-Mansoori’s experience of arriving at the ISS and sheds light on his emotional journey back to Earth.

Showcasing how the dreams of a young boy growing up in a small desert town in Liwa turned to reality, the documentary narrates the personal story of Al-Mansoori, who achieved his long-cherished goal of space travel, with sheer grit and determination.

“I have grown up with this dream of reaching the stars and I believe that everyone should look outside at night and dream about space. 

HIGHLIGHT

The documentary charts the journey of UAE Astronauts Hazzaa Al-Mansoori and Sultan Al-Neyadi as they prepare for their iconic mission, fine-tuning their bodies mentally and physically and learning to adapt to microgravity in space.

“The night before the launch, I was really busy and could not sleep as I was really excited that I was going to space. Reaching the ISS was the proudest moment of my life and I am extremely proud that I accomplished the mission,” said Al-Mansoori.

Moreover, the film gives unique insights into how the UAE astronaut Al-Neyadi’s experience and special expertise in dealing with cutting-edge technology at the UAE military prepared him toward solving some of the most challenging and complex problems related to space.

“Space is really tough on humans and so I had to undergo a lot of physical training exercises, strengthening my muscles and being well equipped to handle everything as a backup flight crew. The specialized training really helped me in adapting myself to all kinds of environments expected in space,” said Al-Neyadi.

In a riveting and compelling style, the documentary charts the journey of Al-Mansoori and Al-Neyadi as they prepare for their iconic mission, fine-tuning their bodies mentally and physically and learning to adapt to microgravity in space. The film also depicts how the Emirati astronauts trained for emergencies that could potentially endanger their lives and the safety of their mission in space.