DGDA appoints UNEC as lead contractor for Samhan Heritage hotel

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), which is overseeing the $17.1bn Diriyah Gate gigaproject, has appointed United Engineering Construction Co (UNEC) to lead construction on the five-star Samhan Heritage Hotel, located in the city of Diriyah within the province of Riyadh.

The Samhan Heritage Hotel is the first of several luxury hotels in the recently announced Diriyah development, a 7km2 cultural and lifestyle tourism destination which is an integral part of the delivery of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Samhan Heritage Hotel will be nestled amongst the natural beauty of the Samhan district and the Wadi Hanifah, only minutes from the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage site.

The hotel will welcome guests across 141 guestrooms and suites, appointed in a Najdi style, featuring traditional interiors. The hotel will take its guests back in time to celebrate Najdi architecture and interiors; with traditional timber ceilings, adobe material finishes, and the use of traditional Najdi patterns reflected in the walls, windows, doors, and fabric patterns.

The original footpaths of Diriyah’s kings and heroes will be recreated within the hotel grounds, connecting the Najdi-style courtyard rooms. Guests will also be able to savour local delicacies in one of three restaurants and lounges; retreat, unwind, and relax at the spa and indoor pool; and enjoy events and meetings in the ballroom and multiple meeting rooms featuring rooftop terraces overlooking Diriyah and the Samhan District.

Commenting on the appointment, the chief executive officer of DGDA, Jerry Inzerillo, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointed contractor of the first hotel in Diriyah with non-other than our leading partner UNEC.

“The commencement of construction on Samhan Heritage Hotel, the first luxury hospitality product to be developed within Diriyah, is a huge first and exciting step. The standard will be set at the highest level of quality and attention to detail, befitting of a world class, luxury hotel. We look forward to welcoming guests in 2022.”

The general manager of UNEC, Samir Ashour, said, “Samhan Heritage Hotel will be an embodiment of history and culture coming together in a luxurious five-star hotel setting, with top hospitality services being offered to its clientele.

“United Engineering Construction (UNEC) is proud to be part of the construction of the 141-room hotel that will include unique restoration and rebuilding of the existing mud structure to maintain the original historical look and impression of the area. Sustainability and energy efficient systems are going to be essential components of the project”.

The chief design and development officer of DGDA, Jonathan Timms, added: “The appointment of UNEC and the launch of construction on the Samhan Heritage Hotel exemplifies the team’s commitment to delivering the highest quality of building standards.

“The Najdi inspired architecture coupled with the hotel’s world class amenities will result in a first rate offering in the international hospitality world.”

Diriyah aims to become the kingdom’s historic and cultural heart, showcasing to the world Saudi Arabia’s 300+ years of history through an engaging set of heritage, hospitality, educational, cultural, retail, and dining experiences for residents, tourists, and day visitors.

It will be home to more than 20 luxury hospitality venues offering authentic experiences that reflect the rich history and vibrant culture of Diriyah and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


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