Saudi’s RCU announces details on Phase 1 of South Al-Ula development

Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has revealed details for Phase 1 of the AlUla South urban development programme, with applications for building permits and commercial activities in AlUla South to begin on March 15.

Phase 1 of building permits will include parts of the Alazizia and Alsalam neighbourhoods in the south of AlUla. Landowners in the areas will be allowed to build residential or commercial properties.

The Royal Commission for Al-Ula – which was established to develop the 2,000-year-old archaeological and historical site of Al-Ula in the north-western part of the kingdom – aims to develop AlUla South as the first step of its journey to drive sustainable urban development.

Phase 1 of the development is being rolled out in line with the 12 strategic principles announced in the AlUla Charter.

These principles include safeguarding revitalising, restoring, and regenerating the built environment; incorporating advanced infrastructure; ensuring connectivity and accessibility; integrating security; sustaining the natural and cultural landscape; sustaining ecosystems and wildlife; celebrating the heritage, culture, and arts as a global destination; maintaining balanced agriculture; developing a touch of tourism; enabling the local community; designing safe and healthy places; and practicing anticipatory design.

A design studio has also been established under the supervision of the planning team at the Commission, in order to help residents’ architects adopt these new guidelines, while providing expert advice on sustainable urban development.

Commenting on the announcement, the chief executive officer of the Royal Commission for AlUla, Amr AlMadani, said: “Opening permits for residential and commercial building in AlUla South is a first step towards unlocking growth while enhancing quality of life and the overall aesthetic of AlUla for the community.”

AlMadani added: “The people of AlUla have been at the heart of RCU’s development plans since it was established. We have launched a series of programmes and initiatives aimed at enhancing quality of life for local communities, including training programmes for 3,500 AlUla community members, creating more than 900 jobs, and we are now building a high-quality urban landscape to match.”

The move follows a number of development projects aimed at improving AlUla’s tourism infrastructure, including the expansion of Prince Abdulmajid Airport to welcome 400,000 visitors annually and elevate its status as a logistics hub.

AlMadani added: “We are working on elevating AlUla as a model city for tourism, economic growth and human development, making AlUla an example to follow. The masterplan and development program will include multiple streams focusing on infrastructure, telecommunications and transportation systems, in addition to improving the quality of life and level of services provided to citizens and tourists alike.”


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