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Saudi Arabia to build a luxury resort in ancient AlUla mountains

The resort will be a blend of culture and modernity, aiming for zero-water wastage. 

Saudi Arabia to build a luxury resort in ancient AlUla mountains
[Source photo: Experiencealula | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia is building a luxury resort in the ancient AlUla mountains. The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has begun constructing the Sharaan Resort and International Summit Centre, designed by noted French architect Jean Nouvel, the man behind Louvre Abu Dhabi. The resort will be carved inside the mountains. 

Nouvel said the resort would seep in the natural beauty of AlUla and a perfect blend of the Nabataean spirit, culture, and modernity. 

Mohammed Altheeb, Royal Commission for AlUla’s chief development and construction officer, described the resort as AlUla’s “most ambitious project”. To further the kingdom’s sustainability goals, the resort will treat wastewater to reuse for irrigation and only use portable water when necessary. 

“The resort was designed with complete reverence for the human and natural history of AlUla, and we are committed to sustainable building practices in line with this same philosophy,” said Altheeb.

The ancient mountains of Sharaan Nature Reserve will house the new luxury resort with 38 suites, a spa and wellness center, a kids club, a sports studio, an all-day dining restaurant, and a business hub. A fine-dining restaurant will be built atop the mountains looking over Sharaan. 

The designs will be inspired by Saudi Arabia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site, Nabataean Wonders of Hegra, which pays tribute to the architectural heritage of the kingdom. 

The summit center will be carved into the adjacent mountain; it will have 13 hospitality pavilions, an auditorium, meeting rooms, a majlis, a library, and a sports and leisure area.

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