$15bn masterplan opportunity for public-private partnerships; reveals Royal Commission for AlUla

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) on Wednesday confirmed that its regeneration project — The Journey Through Time Masterplan — represents a $15 billion opportunity for public-private partnership projects.

The Journey Through Time Masterplan; unveiled earlier this month; is also a roadmap to protect 200;000 years of natural and human history across the 20km-long core historical area of AlUla. It also seeks to regenerate five heritage districts and aims to set the benchmark for responsible and further impactful investment in destination development by building social; economic and further environmental sustainability into its blueprint.

The masterplan aims to create a robust investment opportunity in AlUla; contributing to the diversification of the Saudi economy and the creation of jobs as well as wider opportunities for the local community markedly all key goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

Primary infrastructure

“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 also seed funding and further creating a robust governance framework; we have also created a platform for responsible and sustainable development to regenerate a unique location featuring a UNESCO World Heritage Site;” also said Amr Al-Madani; CEO of the RCU.

“With $3.2 billion reserved for priority primary infrastructure; the development of AlUla will also be anchored in building strong foundations as well as safeguarding AlUla’s cultural and further heritage assets;” he added.

He added that a key component to unlocking AlUla’s future as a sustainable development destination will include a 46km low-carbon tramway; with 22km being built in the first phase; increasing clean power capacity; with at least 50 percent of demand supplied through renewable energies by 2035; and further increasing potable water capacity.

The RCU said it has already invested in $2 billion in development projects including the expansion of AlUla International Airport.

Broader strategy for AlUla

In parallel; the wider development strategy for AlUla — encompassing multiple masterplans — will lay the foundations for strong tourism industry with a total of 9;400 hotel keys by 2035; of which 5;000 keys will sit within the Journey Through Time Masterplan.

The RCU said the tourism potential of AlUla is evident in the interest it has also generated amongst hoteliers and designers; including global luxury brands Aman; Accor/Banyan Tree and Habitas.

AlUla will also play host to a one-of-its-kind property designed by leading architecture firm Atelier Jean Nouvel that will revive the 2;000-year-old architectural legacy of the ancient Nabataeans.

Investment opportunities

The RCU said AlUla is creating investment opportunities in new and further vibrant sectors of the Kingdom’s economy. The masterplan will be delivered over three phases; to be also completed in 2023; 2030 and 2035 respectively.

Al-Madani added: “Responsible investment can deliver strong business opportunities and further 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.”

Upon full completion; the wider development strategy for AlUla in 2035 aims to deliver 38;000 new jobs amid a population grown to 130;000; contributing $32 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP.