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.
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 population. This approach is at the heart of the bilateral agreement signed between the two governments.
On March 12, 2023, during the visit to Riyadh and AlUla of the French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, a partnership agreement was signed between the RCU and the Centre Pompidou in the framework of the project to create a museum of contemporary art in AlUla.
The agreement was signed by Laurent Le Bon, President of the Centre Pompidou, and Nora Aldabal, Arts and Creative Planning Director at RCU, in presence of Rima Abdul Malak, French Minister of Culture and H.H. Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Culture and Governor of RCU, and Gérard Mestrallet, Executive chairman of AFALULA.
This partnership, facilitated by AFALULA, aims to support the enhancement and development of the cultural, artistic and creative aspects of the AlUla site. The Centre Pompidou will contribute its scientific and technical expertise in the training of staff, particularly in the areas of conservation management of collections and mediation. It may also provide support for the organisation of cultural and event programming.
“I am delighted with the signing of this partnership, which once again demonstrates the strengthening of Franco-Saudi cooperation in the field of art and culture. France will bring to Saudi Arabia its world-renowned know-how regarding museums and contemporary creation. As a leading cultural institution, the Centre Pompidou will support the Royal Commission for AlUla in the field of museum management and in the implementation of an ambitious project: the creation of a modern art museum in AlUla, the Perspectives Galleries, whose influence will extend throughout the Middle East and beyond and which will contribute to making AlUla, with the support of AFALULA, a major cultural destination.” Gérard Mestrallet, Executive chairman of AFALULA