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.
The signing of the agreement between the Royal Commission for AlUla and the major French engineering group Bouygues Construction follows the conclusion of many partnerships between leading French companies and institutions and the RCU. The AlUla project has recently welcomed new contributors covering all areas of development in the region:
RATP Dev for the implementation of a 360 Mobility plan, the Centre Pompidou for the creation of a Museum of Contemporary Art in AlUla, Amane Advisors for waste management services, idverde for the sustainable landscaping of AlUla, and the FERRANDI Paris school for the creation of a training college in culinary arts, hotel management and tourism professions (ICTH). And let’s not forget the SEA consortium (Setec, Egis, Assystem), Dassault Systèmes, Thales and Systra, who will be offering AlUla intelligent solutions for sustainable, innovative and inclusive development, for the benefit of the local population and international visitors.
“The signing of this ambitious partnership between France’s leading sustainable construction group and the Royal Commission for AlUla bears witness to our shared ambition to develop in AlUla projects that are conceived in harmony with the site, with absolute respect for its history and landscapes, biodiversity and territories. This partnership is also a reminder of the excellence of our French companies when it comes to cutting-edge technologies designed to create responsible environments that guarantee a unique experience. We are proud of AFALULA’s success in mobilizing an innovative ecosystem of French companies. In 5 years, 250 contracts have been signed between French companies and our Saudi partners, representing a total budget of €1.6 billion.” Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of AFALULA
The partnership signed with Bouygues Construction covers the construction management of the Sharaan Resort and International Summit Centre designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in the AlUla Nature Reserve of the same name.