Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, is a renewed destination for arts and culture


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          <p>Al-Ula (Northwest of Saudi Arabia) is a historical site rich in culture and heritage that extends back to many centuries BC and beyond. It contains details of civilizations that passed through its land and influenced it;  For later stages of its history and art.

These stages put Al-Ula today in a renewed stage, placing arts and culture among the pillars of future work at the core of the “Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate.” About that, Nora Al-Dabal, Head of the Art and Culture Programs Department at the authority, spoke about that, who confirmed that Al-Ula will strengthen international partnerships, There will also be training programs targeting the people of Al-Ula and others targeting visitors, and there will also be an artistic residency program.

About that, Al-Dabel talks about this in the following dialogue:

  • Al-Ula has a global footprint today… Is there a tendency towards strengthening partnerships with cultural and artistic centers in the world?

Art is a means of dialogue between people, between peoples and between the person and the surrounding environment. Over the past two years, we have started working with partners from the public and private sectors, globally and locally.

An essential part of our work is to put the artist at the center of the planning stage. We aspire to be AlUla “a destination built by artists,” taking old stories and methods that were in AlUla to inspire future plans, and this is an exploration trip in an open museum that invites you to learn about AlUla’s natural masterpieces .

Al-Deera School… It has become a cultural sign. What is your vision for this school?

Al-Deera School is the first girls’ school in Al-Ula. Also a residency program.

In addition, Al-Ula Academy of Arts will be independent, targeting students for academic study and specialized research in various fields of arts.

The Saudi cultural experience, through the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, achieved a remarkable presence… Is there a tendency to strengthen this role, starting from abroad, to attract foreign visitors?

  • Al-Ula as a global tourist destination targeting visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom, and we are working to develop various programs and exhibitions targeting all segments of visitors to Al-Ula, as well as working with our partners to develop products to include foreign and local tourists. The year 2020 presented several programs during the period of its presentation, and some of these programs targeted the foreign visitor by merging the exhibition and coordinating with several existing exhibitions in the region, knowing that we provided technical training programs targeting AlUla students.

The Arts District in Al-Ula… What are the prospects it holds for spreading the region’s culture and arts globally?

The neighborhood aims to develop a fertile environment for creativity in the fields of arts and design, especially inspired by Al-Ula’s cultural and natural identity to support the creative economy. The Deira School and AlUla Academy of Arts are the main supporters of the neighborhood in addition to art galleries, art studios, shops, in addition to restaurants and cafes, which in turn will revive the area.

The Arts District will be a living place, offering everything that is new, which is the creative pulse of Al-Ula. It is a neighborhood that combines the old and the new, in which eclectic architecture will be combined with old and historical buildings, with a renewed neighborhood that embraces a new generation of creators and thinkers.

Your partners from the people of Al-Ula… How does the scheme enhance their role, especially in the aspects of cultural programs?

  • Inspiring stories and all the old stories that were in Al-Ula to inspire future plans. One of the most important goals is to enable artists and craftsmen to work and live in Al-Ula, through the formation of an integrated chain of the arts and crafts sector.

This year, the Deira School launched a specialized program for jewelry design in cooperation with the “House of Piaget” for jewelry, targeting male and female trainees from the people of Al-Ula. The program aims to develop the craft of jewelry design in AlUla and create modern designs inspired by its heritage.

What are the most prominent exhibitions and events that will attract artists from around the world?

– We are currently working on an arts strategy, which includes permanent exhibitions and museums in Al-Ula, and since the region is an open museum, there are many ways to cooperate and work with artists and art specialists from around the world. In previous years, we started several activities that pave the way for upcoming projects.


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