Maraya Concert Hall: The ‘mirrored wonder’ of Saudi Arabia’s AlUla creates Guinness World Record

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Updated 18 March 2020

Maraya Concert Hall: The ‘mirrored wonder’ of Saudi Arabia’s AlUla creates Guinness World Record

  • It holds the record for the largest mirrored building in the world

RIYADH: The magnificent mirrored Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla has astonished everyone who sees it — a list that now includes assessors from Guinness World Records.

The cube-shaped structure, covered in 9,740 square meters of mirrors that reflect the breathtaking landscape around it, has set a record for the largest mirrored building in the world.

The building and its extraordinary facade were unveiled at a special ceremony staged by the Royal Commission for AlUla during the second season of the Winter at Tantora festival. The 500-seat venue has since hosted leading international artists, including Egyptian musician Omar Khairat and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

“AlUla is a cultural heritage to the world, and this step comes in fulfillment of AlUla’s vision, to create a regional and global cultural center,” said commission chief executive Amr Al-Madani

“We have developed Maraya Concert Hall as a hub for world events, concerts, celebrations, gatherings, and business conventions. The mirrored hall is a global platform where nature, culture, and human heritage coexist in harmony.

“We are proud to celebrate the opening of Maraya Concert Hall, and we thank our partners, experts, engineers, and architects, who worked day and night to create this astounding monument in the heart of the marvelous desert environment of AlUla.”

Florian Boje of designers Gio Forma said: “This unique edifice makes us think about the unique landscape of the geological saga, the radical abstraction of the enchanting environment of AlUla, and the uncommon incursions for man in the natural landscape.

“The reflections give an overwhelming balance and a deep sense of the connection of human heritage with nature.”

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Saleh Hamad Al-Suhaibani, Saudi representative to the OIC

Updated 3 min 30 sec ago

Saleh Hamad Al-Suhaibani, Saudi representative to the OIC

Saleh Hamad Al-Suhaibani has been appointed the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recently.

Al-Suhaibani received a bachelor’s degree in Arabic from Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) in 1987.

Four years later, he achieved a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the same university with a focus on teaching Arabic to non-native speakers.

In 1998, Al-Suhaibani obtained a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Leeds, UK.

He served as the secretary-general of the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO) for three  years. He has also worked as a Saudi cultural attache to the UAE. Moreover, he was an adviser to the Saudi joint committee for the relief of Kosovo and Chechnya.

He has also held a number of positions, including chairing the Arabic language department at IMSIU and the language preparatory department at the Arabic language institute at IMSIU. Al-Suhaibani was the deputy manager of the Arabic language teachers’ qualification department at the same university. Moreover, he has been the assistant director of scholarships for promotional affairs at what was formerly called the Ministry of Higher Education.

Al-Suhaibani has published dozens of research papers, including his political discourse analysis studies. He has also authored and translated several books.

He has received several awards, appreciation letters and certificates of excellence. In May 2019, ARCO awarded Al-Suhaibani with the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Medal, the highest Arab medal for humanitarian work.