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Known as the 'pearl of Saudi Arabia', Ad Diriyah is set to put Saudi Arabia's tourism wheels in motion. It is the site of the first Saudi state, the original seat of power of Saudi Arabia’s Al Saud family. Ad Diriyah is located on the outskirts of Riyadh, and is set to become a major tourist destination. The $17 billion development will encompass several luxury resorts, including major international hotel brands, as well as more than 100 dining and entertainment options. The first hotel should be due to open late in 2021.

Within Ad Diriyah, you'll find the Unesco-listed site of At-Turaif – the sprawling mud-brick capital city founded in the 15th century, with much influence owed to the Najdi architectural style of Arabia. In the mid-18th century, it spawned the dynasty of Al Saud, who had lived in Ad Diriyah since the 15th century. Today, At-Turaif is mostly destroyed, but a redevelopment project has introduced museums, performance spaces and a glimpse inside 18th century Saudi Arabia.

Until the end of 2019, the site had not been open to the public since it gained its Unesco designation in 2010.

Source: The National

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