French Agency for
ALULA development


Gérard Mestrallet
Executive Chairman of Afalula

Saudi Arabia and France share a vision to implement a new economic and touristic development model, focused on the absolute preservation of the environment, respectful of history, and inclusive of local populations. Through art and culture, the project will be dedicated to offering an authentic touristic experience faithful to the traditions of hospitality in the Arab World.

Board of Directors


Executive Chairman of the French Agency for AlUla Development – Afalula

Christophe FARNAUD

Director for MENA, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs


Deputy Director General for Globalization, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Christophe BORIES

Sub-Directorate for Bilateral Economic Relations, Directorate General of the Treasury, French Ministry for the Economy and Finance



The French-Saudi bilateral Agreement

Following a bilateral agreement signed on 10 April 2018 at the Elysee Palace, the French Agency Afalula was founded in Paris in July 2018 to support Saudi Arabia in the economic, touristic and cultural development of AlUla, a region located in the North-West of the Kingdom which benefits from outstanding natural and cultural heritage.

It sets out an historic cooperation between the two nations which aims to strengthen Saudi cultural and historic outreach and make the AlUla region a world-class destination, appreciated by visitors from around the globe.

A commitment
to co-construction

The Agency’s mission is to mobilize the full breadth of French expertise (specialists, operators, companies) and to support, within a co-construction framework, its Saudi partner, The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), located in Riyadh and AlUla. Founded in July 2017 and headed by H.R.H. Crown Prince of the Kingdom Mohammed bin Salman, the RCU aims at protecting and developing AlUla and promoting its cultural and natural heritage, and its population.

The best of French know-how

The Agency gathers a full range of leading French experts in the project's key fields: cultural engineering, archaeology, architecture and urban planning, agriculture and botany, tourism, education, security, water and sustainable environment management.

Core Expertise

Culture & Heritage

Heritage protection
Archaeological sites development and creation of a museum complex around a research centre

Architecture & Development

Preservation and valorisation of the natural and cultural assets
Sustainable planning of touristic infrastructure
Socioeconomic development

Tourism & Hospitality

Turning AlUla into a world-class destination, reference for sustainable tourism

Security & Safety

Security plan and strategy development

Human Capital

Development and reinforcement of the governorate’s human and training capabilities

Water & Environment

Sustainable management of water, energy, resources and natural environment

Botanical products

Concepts and products development on the Incense trade route
Valorisation of local natural resources


Development of a sustainable and economically viable agriculture