Unesco and AlUla agree on 5-year partnership to preserve heritage

Unesco and AlUla agree on 5-year partnership to preserve heritage

The agreement accelerates the ongoing cultural and socio-economic renaissance of Saudi Arabia’s heritage site 

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has signed a long-term strategic partnership with Unesco to “preserve and promote a cultural landscape of natural and historical significance in north-west Saudi Arabia”.

Spanning the next five years and focused on 10 programmes, the partnership includes the listing of new natural and cultural sites under Unesco’s taxonomy to protect and promote local heritage, as well as natural landscape and ecosystems.

The partnership will see the implementation of knowledge-based initiatives to sustainably and responsibly transform the cultural, heritage and natural landscape of AlUla.

RCU will work alongside Unesco and global experts on key programmes, including ‘Memory of the World’, focused on the preservation of documentary heritage, and leading academics from across the globe will be invited to explore AlUla through immersive opportunities designed to unlock the secrets of ancient languages and societies. 

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco, said: “The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Unesco builds on a long history that extends back to 1946, when the Kingdom became a member state of our organisation. Today, cooperation between Unesco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking another important step forward, with a view to accompanying a major transformation of the AlUla region.”

Governor of RCU, Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al-Saud, said: “It is the vision of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to transform AlUla into a global destination for heritage, nature, arts and culture. The signing of this first-of-its-kind agreement is another significant moment in our journey towards reaching these ambitions and building upon the enduring relationship that exists between Saudi Arabia, RCU and Unesco.

“Aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plans and UN Sustainable Development Goals, this partnership will connect AlUla’s past, present and future by harnessing the power of education, science and culture to act as a catalyst for a sustainable development model and long-lasting change.” 



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