France and Saudi Arabia sign long-term partnerships
During the visit to AlUla of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness, and French Nationals Abroad, the Royal Commission for AlUla signed a foundational agreement with RATP Dev, a subsidiary of the RATP group, as well as two memoranda of understanding with the French companies Amane Advisors and Idverde concerning long-term strategic partnerships.
Saudi Arabia and France signed an intergovernmental agreement in April 2018 on the sustainable development of the AlUla region and its transformation into a world-class cultural and tourism destination.
As a result of this agreement, the French Agency for AlUla Development (AFALULA) was created to mobilize all French know-how (experts, operators, companies) and to support its Saudi partner, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), in a spirit of collaborative development.
The Agency brings together some of the world’s leading experts in all the key areas of the project: museography, archaeology, architecture and urban planning, mobility, agriculture and botany, tourism, education, infrastructure, horse, security, water and environmental management.
In developing AlUla, it is the joint desire of Saudi Arabia and France to implement a new model of economic and tourism development, focused on environmental conservation, respect for history and the land, and inclusion of the local communities. This approach is at the heart of the bilateral agreement signed between the two governments.
On December 22, 2022, during the visit to AlUla of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness, and French Nationals Abroad, Mr. Olivier Becht, a partnership was signed with RATP Dev, a subsidiary of the RATP group, regarding the development of an integrated, sustainable, and smart mobility network to serve residents and visitors, as well as two memoranda of understanding with Amane Advisors and Idverde regarding the transformation of waste management services and landscaping in AlUla, respectively.
“I am delighted with the signing of these contracts which confirm the strengthening of economic ties between our two countries. The expertise of our companies and their know-how, particularly in sustainable development and mobility solutions, should contribute to the deployment of the Vision 2030 project initiated by the Saudi authorities.”
Olivier Becht, Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness, and French Nationals Abroad
“The signing of the contract with RATP Dev and the memoranda of understanding with Amane Advisors and Idverde are proof of the common desire of Saudi Arabia and France to provide AlUla with smart and innovative solutions for mobility, waste management and landscaping, and to serve the region, its residents, and the visitors of today and tomorrow. It is also a reminder of the excellence of our French companies in cutting-edge technologies designed to create responsible environments as well as unique living environments for all.”
Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of Afalula
The “360 Mobility Plan” contract signed with RATP Dev aims to develop coherent local mobility solutions for residents and tourists that meet the region’s needs
RATP’s Dev 360 mobility plan is the cornerstone of sustainable mobility in AlUla, aimed at providing efficient and effective public and private mobility services.
To the partnership, RATP Dev will bring all of its expertise, its capacity to innovate, and its internationally recognized experience as public transport planner and operator.
In the spirit of collaborative development, the two partners will work to make AlUla a destination and a pleasant place to live – a place where travel will be fluid, safe, and environmentally friendly.
As part of the new mobility chain, the partners will strive to develop, operate, and maintain innovative public transport systems to meet the mobility needs of the population: residents, schoolchildren, and students, as well as tourists, driving innovation on both a technological and a social level.
The primary objective of the project is to shape the governance, policies, operations, and physical assets needed to build a sustainable and smart public mobility network for the benefit of citizens and visitors from around the world.
The mobility plan will provide a unique visitor experience and significantly improve quality of life for the local communities, while making a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
Through this partnership, RATP Dev is committed to participating in the local labor market by offering training and employment opportunities to the women and men who live in AlUla. The group will also operate maintenance activities in the region and will locate the related facilities in AlUla.
The memorandum of understanding signed with Amane Advisors will enable AIUIa to deliver superior waste management services to residents, communities, and tourists.
Amane Advisors is leading global consulting company specializing in resource recovery, energy recovery and water. It will support the RCU in delivering world-class waste management services within AlUla, including implementing collection and cleaning services, establishing recycling and treatment facilities at Resource Management Park, and meeting an ambitious waste recovery objective of 70% by 2035.
With more than 50 projects delivered in Saudi Arabia, Amane Advisors is eager to contribute to the Kingdom’s sustainable development in the waste and circular economy.
This memorandum covers several aspects:
- Implementation of the strategy and transformation of waste management services in AlUla;
- Definition of an organizational plan for the waste management department in the context of increasing activities, as well as implementation of a centralized resource management pool; supporting the RCU in providing waste management services and facilities and in supervising the performance of private operators;
- Supporting the RCU in searching for and selecting legal counsel for the drafting and implementation of waste management services regulations;
- Supporting the RCU in recruiting and training a team and a manager responsible for an awareness campaign, as well as shaping this campaign in the short, medium, and long term.
The memorandum of understanding signed with Idverde covers sustainable landscape development in AlUla
- Idverde will actively contribute to achieving the RCU’s biodiversity and sustainability goals: the landscape services and activities implemented at AlUla will help preserve its biodiversity. By bringing its cutting-edge expertise to RCU. Idverde will help manage water consumption, cool urban spaces and buildings, increase the rate of carbon capture by soil and trees, and accurately monitor the health of all green spaces as well as the impact of the employed solutions;
- As an advisor and project manager for all landscaping activities, Idverde will provide the RCU with assessments, diagnostics, advice, and access to the latest technologies and best practices in landscaping;
- Idverde will offer landscape solutions, including nature-based solutions, contributing to climate risk mitigation and public health improvement, integrating the needs of local residents.