The First Competition to document the industrial heritage in Saudi Arabia

A traditional building stands in Asir Province, Saudi Arabia, credit to Reuters

The Saudi Ministry of Culture launched today the first national competition to document the “Industrial Heritage” in Saudi Arabia, with prizes amounting to about one million riyals, and an open participation for all citizens and residents through the website:

SPA—The competition is a part of the Industrial Heritage Program, which was announced by the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr Al-Saud. The program was founded under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture at the end of last April. The aim of the Industrial Heritage Documentation Competition is to discover the most important features of this heritage in all cities and governorates of Saudi Arabia with the participation of Saudis and expatriates of different social strata.

The industrial heritage is one of the modern heritage styles associated with industrial development in the world. It includes the remains of ancient industrial culture, whether technical, social, architectural or scientific. It consists of buildings, machinery, factories, mines, refineries, and warehouses.

The competition will be open for a period of three months from today till October 6th. The subscription requires sending pictures or video clips and information about any site in Saudi Arabia, the contestant believes that it fulfills the requirements of the industrial heritage through the official website of the competition.

All entries will then be subject to evaluation by specialized arbitration committees, with winners to be announced in next November.

 The criteria for winning the competition are focused on the effort exerted by the contestant to discover the industrial site and certify its information.

The competition is divided into three tracks; the first is to discover the sites of the industrial heritage, where the contestant is required to send pictures, videos and basic information about the discovered site. The second track is to record the stories and details of events affecting the industry and social life by recording audio or video clips. The third track is all about documenting the story of the industrial site through a research effort that includes the history of the site and its impact on industry and society, and the award in this track to reach SAR300,000.

The Organizing Committee has set out the conditions and details of the competition on its official website (, including an explanation of the concept of industrial heritage, the conditions of its classification, and the quality of heritage sites falling under this type of heritage.

Saudi Arabia has an ancient legacy in the industrial heritage represented in pioneering the oil and gas industry, the desalination plants, the petrochemical industry, the mining and cement mines, and the transport system supporting the industry from ports and trains.

The contest seeks to benefit from the efforts of members of the community in all their segments to document the most important features of this heritage and contribute to the establishment of the first national database of all industrial sites belonging to this classification.

The Minister of Culture and the Chairman of the Founding Committee of the Saudi Association for the Preservation of Industrial Heritage, announced on April 29th the establishment of the Saudi Association for the preservation of industrial heritage with the support of the Ministry of Culture, at a meeting held in Al-Bujairi district of Ad Diriyah, in the presence of the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Engineer Khalid Al-Falih, and a group of industrialists.