The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) confirmed that its regeneration project – The Journey Through Time Masterplan – offers a $15bn (SAR57bn) opportunity for responsible investment in public-private partnership projects, it announced today.
The Journey Through Time Masterplan, a roadmap to protect 200,000 years of natural and human history across the 20km-long core historical area of AlUla, is driven by the regeneration of five heritage districts. The plans aims to create an investment opportunity in AlUla, contributing to the diversification of the Saudi economy and creation of jobs as well as wider opportunities for the local community.
AlUla’s development strategy is guided by the AlUla Sustainability Charter, which lays the base for adherence to a carbon-neutral strategy and circular economy principles, resiliency policies around development in heritage and environmentally sensitive areas, as well as flood and improved water management and vegetation planting. The masterplan will also contribute to the Saudi Green Initiative by expanding AlUla’s green and open spaces up to 10 million square meters.
An estimated $3.2bn will be injected into developing AlUla’s priority infrastructure. Aiming to unveil AlUla’s future as a sustainable development destination, this will include a 46km low-carbon tramway (22km for the first phase); increasing clean power capacity, with at least 50 per cent of demand supplied through renewable energies by 2035; and increasing potable water capacity, with a centralised and upgraded water supply system which includes a new supply of desalinated water and a tailor-made water conservation programme. It also entails increasing wastewater capacity with an upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant in Mughayra.
The RCU is committed to de-risking future investments for partners and will support the development of heritage assets and primary infrastructure, having already invested $2bn in development projects including the expansion of AlUla International Airport, bolstering the county’s security infrastructure and developing key tourism assets including Ashar estate and the Maraya multi-purpose venue. AlUla will also play host to property designed by architecture firm Atelier Jean Nouvel that will revive the 2,000-year-old architectural legacy of the ancient Nabataeans.
“With an estimated total development value of over $15bn, The Journey Through Time Masterplan is an important opportunity to showcase AlUla’s full potential,” stated Amr AlMadani, chief executive officer of the Royal Commission for AlUla.
“By de-risking investment opportunities through our $2bn (SAR7.5bn) seed funding and creating a robust governance framework, we have created a platform for responsible and sustainable development to regenerate a unique location featuring a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
As part of the masterplan, AlUla offers several investment opportunities across multiple asset classes: landmark cultural projects; social infrastructure, utilities and mobility, hospitality, commercial and residential projects. The masterplan will be delivered over three phases, to be completed in 2023, 2030 and 2035 respectively.
“Responsible investment can deliver strong business opportunities and investment returns, whilst also helping to address urgent social and environmental concerns. For our partners around the globe, this is an opportunity to be at a new frontier of environmental, social and economic growth,” added Amr AlMadani.
Upon completion, the wider development strategy for AlUla in 2035 aims to deliver 38,000 new jobs amid a population grown to 130,000, contributing $32bn (SAR120bn) to the kingdom’s GDP.