Saudi Arabia’s Riviera of the Middle East Project

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The visionary Riviera of the Middle East project is a newly conceived ultra-luxury destination that includes artist studios, sculpture gardens, and galleries. The project is a part of Saudi Arabia’s vision of becoming a hotbed for tourism by the year 2030. The ambitious vision and plan were first announced and revealed by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016.

The Riviera of the Middle East project will be located along the northwest coast of the country. New visitor visas were made available last autumn to welcome and encourage international visitors. The country also relaxed its dress code rules for foreign women. 

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Private and Exclusive

The Riviera of the Middle East is located in the Prince Mohammad bin Salman Nature Reserve and it will be home to an “exclusive art community”. The island will also include an academy and a contemporary art gallery. An Arabic botanical garden that is filled with sculptures will also be included in the project. The name for the project interestingly stems from the fact that it is in close proximity to Dubai, Istanbul, and Riyadh, thus, the “Riviera of the Middle East. 

The project is said to include over 2,500 hotel rooms alongside well over 800 residential apartments, homes, and villas. There will also be approximately 200 shops as well as recreational facilities and restaurants.

The master planner of the Island has been revealed to be none other than Malaysian-based consultancy, Denniston.  The Principal Designer of Denniston, Jean-Michel Gathy expressed that the Riviera of the Middle East will be an island development project that is an interactive art-inspired and immersive jewel.

He added that the project’s art installations together with the art community, lifestyle components, and the museums will contribute to the island’s transformation into the “Diamond of the Red Sea”.