Despite a challenging year that has seen major disruptions to supply chains and economies across the region, Saudi Arabia has managed to continue to push forward and make good grounds on its Vision 2030 pledge.
Vision 2030 views the preservation and celebration of culture as indispensable to the quality of life of the Saudi population. Since its inception, the Kingdom has made concerted efforts to increase the quality and quantity of its activities across various cultural sectors whilst simultaneously enabling culture to actively contribute towards economic growth.
Reflecting the international community’s confidence in Saudi Arabia and its commitment to protecting local culture and heritage, this year saw Saudi Arabia elected to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee for the first time.
Such international cooperation through UNESCO is sure to raise the level of local cultural management to international standards whilst contributing to the development of areas of intangible cultural heritage in Saudi Arabia.
The GCC’s dynamic projects industry is valued at $3.1 trillion, and with multiple active developments underway throughout the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia continues forward as a torchbearer.
Sprawling Qiddiya is set to become the Kingdom’s capital of Entertainment, Sports, and the Arts. The 366km2 giga-project awarded Saudi companies contracts worth over $530million.
Plans to build on an open space network that is compelled by the natural flow of water will create a unique environment unlike anything seen before. This huge project seeks to satisfy the recreational, social, and cultural needs of future generations of Saudis whilst also attracting interest from overseas visitors and investment.
Efforts to showcase the enormous stock of intangible cultural heritage in various villages and regions saw plans drawn for restoration work to begin on Buraidah Heritage Village. Located in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula in the Al-Qassim region, the site is set to open to the public in time for Ramadan in 2021.
Costing approximately $1.8m (SAR7m), and covering a total area of more than 3,400m2, the development of the Buraidah Heritage Village saw work and renovations to the Al Hayit Market, the Heritage Mosque, and the 40m tall Sinan Tower.
Following examples lead by Saudi Arabia, states within the GCC similarly seek to drive growth, drive economic diversification, and place a greater focus on sustainability and social cohesion through like-minded projects. With an estimated 6,722 active projects planned or underway in the region, this market is seen as strategically vital to the development of the GCC.
With the unveiling of the first phase of the monumental Qiddiya site set for 2023, the coming year is sure to see a ramping up of cultural development projects across the Kingdom, as Vision 2030 edges ever closer to becoming a reality and Saudi Arabia’s ambitions for the future continue unabated.