This year, the AlUla project celebrates 5 years of particulary fruitful Franco-Saudi cooperation, guided by a demanding ambition in terms of sustainable development. A series of decisive milestones have been achieved in all the fields covered by the project, with the aim of making this region with its exceptional heritage one of the Kingdom’s cultural capitals and a world-class tourist destination.
THE FRENCH AGENCY FOR ALULA DEVELOPMENT IS DEFINED BY FUNDAMENTAL VALUES, WHICH WE SHARE, WHICH WE IDENTIFY WITH, AND WHICH CHARACTERISE OUR WORK EACH DAY.
From multiple disciplines and diverse backgrounds, we promote the qualities of listening and openness. Our strength lies in the harmonious blend of our multiple areas of expertise. Exchanging and sharing are inseparable from the pleasure we take in working together to support our shared project.
Mutual respect is firmly established as the core value guiding our relationships with others. This goodwill enables us to work with others in a spirit of trust, both within the Agency and with our partners. Listening, availability and empathy make our everyday contacts particularly rewarding.
United by a sense of solidarity that gives us strength and that we actively cultivate, we work hand-in-hand to successfully achieve our goals as part of our project, in an atmosphere of trust and team spirit.
Our mission to jointly build the AlUla project drives us each day to surpass ourselves, to be more daring, in order to continue raising performance levels. Our team’s commitment to a shared goal is aligned with deep ethical and environmental convictions. Driven by a common goal, our collective success is the result of an ambition that is shared by all.
Jean-Yves Le Drian
Executive Chairman of the French Agency for AlUla Development – Afalula
Director for Middle East & North Africa, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
until 7 August 2023
Director General of Global affairs, culture, education & development, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs
Head of Office Turkey, Balkans, CIS and Middle East, French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty
Head of Bilateral Affairs and Business Internationalisation, General Directorate of the Treasury, French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty
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.
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, training, horse, security, infrastructures, water and sustainable environment management.
Culture & Heritage
Archaeological sites development and creation of a museum complex around a research centre
Architecture & Urban development
Valorisation of historical and natural heritage; sustainable development of tourism infrastructure and urban centers; socio-economic development
Tourism & Hospitality
Marketing and promoting the tourist destination
Development of sustainable tourism, hotels and events
Security & Safety
Securing the Agency’s employees, consultants and sites, in coordination with the various national institutional and private partners. Assistance and advice to the RCU Security Department
Development and reinforcement of the governorate’s human and training capabilities
Environment & Infrastructures
Development, operations and governance of sustainable resources, performing infrastructures and inclusive public services
Concepts and products development on the Incense trade route
Valorisation of local natural resources
Development of a sustainable and economically viable agriculture
Creating, managing and promoting scientific research projects
Supporting excavation and conservation missions on the archaeological sites of AlUla and Khaybar
Drawing up a strategy for equestrian activities, designing an international sports and events programme, development for the benefit of the local population and tourism, and enhancement of the equestrian heritage
Incubation and development of special, cross-cutting projects at the crossroads of cultural, economic and social issues, and the objectives of the bilateral relationship for AlUla (e.g. cinema, Villa Hegra, etc.)