Saudi Arabia’s governing body of protected sites Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has confirmed that its regeneration project ‘The Journey Through Time’ master plan offers a $15 billion opportunity for responsible investment in public-private partnership projects.
The Journey Through Time master plan is a roadmap to protect 200,000 years of natural and human history across the 20km-long core historical area of AlUla.
The master plan aims to create a robust investment opportunity in AlUla, contributing to the diversification strategy of the Saudi economy and the creation of jobs as well as wider opportunities for the local community, following the key goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
For developing AlUla’s key infrastructure an estimated $3.2 billion will be invested. With an aim to unveil AlUla’s future as a sustainable development destination by including a 46km low-carbon tramway, increasing clean power capacity with nearly half of demand supplied through renewable energies by 2035 and increasing potable water capacity. It also entails increasing wastewater capacity with an upgrade of the treatment plant in Mughayra.
The commission is committed to de-risking future investments for partners and will support the development of heritage assets and primary infrastructure, having already invested $2 billion in development projects like the expansion of AlUla International Airport, strengthening the county’s security infrastructure and developing key tourism assets including Ashar estate and the Maraya multi-purpose venue.
AlUla’s development strategy is guided by the AlUla Sustainability Charter, which sets the ground for adherence to a carbon-neutral plan and circular economy principles, resiliency policies across development in heritage and environmentally sensitive areas, as well as flood and improved water management and vegetation planting. The master plan will also contribute to the Saudi Green Initiative by expanding AlUla’s green and open spaces up to 10 million square meters.
“With an estimated total development value of over $15 billion, The Journey Through Time Masterplan is an important opportunity to showcase AlUla’s full potential. By de-risking investment opportunities through our $2 billion 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 master plan, AlUla offers several investment opportunities across multiple asset classes such as landmark cultural projects, social infrastructure, utilities and mobility, hospitality, commercial and residential developments. The master plan 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,” Mr. AlMadani further added.
Upon completion, the wider development strategy for AlUla in 2035 aims to deliver 38,000 new job opportunities amid a population grown to 130,000, contributing $32 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP.