Home » The Pif » Diriyah Company Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo Appointed As A UN Tourism Ambassador
Diriyah Company Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo Appointed As A UN Tourism Ambassador
Diriyah Company Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo Appointed As A UN Tourism Ambassador

Diriyah Company Group CEO, Jerry Inzerillo has been appointed as a United Nations Tourism Ambassador during the first ever UN Sustainability Week in New York. 

He joins the ranks of an elite group of 50 UN Tourism ambassadors which includes Lionel Messi and Georgio Armani. 

Recognized for his 50 year career as a hospitality visionary, which includes work with the Forbes Travel Guide and helping to establish Atlantis Resorts, Jerry is now spearheading the $63 Billion Diriyah Giga project in Saudi Arabia. 

On completion, Diriyah, which is home to the UNESCO At-Turaif World Heritage Site aims to host 100,000 residents and feature world-class hotels and restaurants.

The No.1 Business Site in Saudi Arabia

Get The Latest Developments in The Growth of Saudi Arabia Straight to Your Inbox and Stay Ahead of The Curve

The Accolade of UN Tourism Ambassador

Image Credit Diriyah Company

The United Nations Tourism Ambassador accolade is a prestigious recognition of Inzerillo’s significant contributions to the global development of the tourism sector. 

This prestigious title was presented to him by the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili.

The award ceremony was part of a day dedicated to discussing and debating future global tourism strategies, specifically focusing on the vital role sustainability will play in shaping the future of this critical sector.

Image credit Fayez Nureldine

Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, said: “It is an enormous honor for me personally, and by extension for the Diriyah Company, to have been granted the status of becoming a United Nations Tourism Ambassador.  

Joining the Elite


As the newly appointed UN Tourism Ambassador, Jerry Inzerillo joins an exclusive group of UN tourism ambassadors from various fields, including arts, business, gastronomy, and sports. 

Some notable figures in this group include fashion icon Georgio Armani, football superstar Lionel Messi, and renowned opera singer Placido Domingo.

Upon announcing the appointment, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili expressed the organization’s pride in welcoming Inzerillo to its ranks. 

He highlighted Inzerillo’s new role as instrumental in amplifying the UNWTO’s key messages about the potential of tourism to drive change and achieve sustainable growth.

Inzerillo’s Commendable Contributions

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Inzerillo’s appointment as a UN Tourism Ambassador reflects his lifelong dedication to employing innovative design and development strategies that support local communities and foster the creation of new and undiscovered tourism destinations.

Born in New York, Jerry Inzerillo’s impressive career journey has seen him work with esteemed organizations such as the Forbes Travel Guide, IMG Artists, and Kerzner International. Under his leadership at Kerzner International, the Atlantis Resorts and One & Only brands were established.

In 2021, Inzerillo received one of the most prestigious accolades in the tourism and hospitality industry when he was named Corporate Hotelier of the World by Hotels Magazine. 

More recently, he was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award by President Joe Biden, a further testament to his remarkable achievements.

Leading Diriyah’s Transformation

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Jerry Inzerillo’s visionary leadership extends to his role as Group CEO of Diriyah Company, where he spearheads the transformative development of Diriyah, located on the outskirts of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh

At the heart of Diriyah is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the historic capital of the First Saudi State. The Diriyah Gate plan, which is part of Saudi Vision 2030, aims to transform the region into a popular tourist spot by developing a variety of cultural, entertainment, and sports facilities. 

Image Credit Diriyah E Prix

Each year, Diriyah hosts the Diriyah E Prix, a fully-electric street racing event and the Formula E championships. Additionally, the town celebrates the Diriyah Season, a cultural festival that showcases various performances and exhibitions. 

Restaurants & Attractions at Diriyah

Image Credit Diriyah E Prix

Recently, Al Bujairi Heritage Park and Bujairi Terrace have undergone significant developments, making them must-visit destinations. 

Bujairi Terrace, unveiled on December 4th, 2022, is a premier high-end dining destination. Spanning 15,000 square meters and comprising 21 international and local top-tier Bujairi Terrace restaurants serving a mix of international and local cuisines.

From Bujairi Terrace, visitors can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the iconic At-Turaif and its surroundings. 

Image Credit Visit Saudi

Wadi Hanifa, nestled in the heart of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, beckons travelers eager to immerse themselves in the region’s natural allure and cultural richness. 

With its abundant greenery and pristine streams, this picturesque valley offers an unforgettable experience for visitors seeking to explore and learn about its surroundings.

Image Credit Diriyah Company

The newly planned Diriyah Square, central to the Diriyah master plan, intends to feature more than 400 Saudi and international retail brands alongside top-tier hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. 

This new urban area is designed to be entirely walkable, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and will rely completely on renewable energy sources for power.

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Under Inzerillo’s guidance, the development strategies for Diriyah uphold the highest international sustainability, preservation, and conservation standards. These strategies aim to support the local community’s mobility, health, and well-being.

The development of Diriyah is inspired by traditional Najdi architecture, which promotes sustainable infrastructure, the planting of 6.5 million indigenous trees, shrubs, and plants, and the utilization of carbon-negative building materials throughout the Diriyah project. 

Image Credit Diriyah Company

This commitment to sustainability has earned Diriyah the LEED platinum-level certification for Cities and Communities by the United States Green Building Council for the first phase of its masterplan, a first-of-its-kind accreditation in the Middle East.

Transformative Developments in Diriyah

Diriyah’s Arena

Image Credit HKS Architects

Diriyah Company has announced plans for a 20,000 Seater Arena in Diriyah as part of Diriyah’s $63 billion Gigaproject master plan located on the outskirts of Riyadh.

London’s HKS architects have introduced groundbreaking designs unveiling a 76,000 square meter arena embraced by an urban park. 

Drawing inspiration from the intricate motifs of Najdi forts and palaces, the Arena’s design harmonizes Saudi heritage with a touch of modern sophistication. Upon its completion, the arena aspires to establish itself as a frontrunner in the Middle East, welcoming prominent sports and cultural events.

The Wadi Safar Project

Image Credit Diriyah Company

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority recently introduced the Wadi Safar project, which is set to transform the metropolis of Riyadh into an oasis. The project, often compared to the ‘Bel Air’ of Saudi Arabia, is set to sell approximately 40 to 50 luxury homes in its Wadi Safar community. 

Each house is priced at a minimum of $25 million, catering to a select clientele of ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Wadi Safar, situated west of Diriyah, is about more than just luxury homes. 

Image Credit Diriyah Company

The community will also feature a championship golf course, royal diriyah equestrian, and polo club, adding to the allure of this high-end residential project.

The Ritz-Carlton Diriyah Hotel

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Marriott International has unveiled the start of the construction of the upcoming Ritz-Carlton hotel in Diriyah, which is scheduled to open in 2026. 

It is situated within the $63 Billion Diriyah Giga Project, the five-star establishment is set to include 195 guest rooms and 34 luxury suites. 

The hotel will also feature luxury dining venues, outdoor pools, and a fitness center, providing immersive guest experiences.

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Saudico, a leading construction firm in Saudi Arabia, has also secured a $186 million contract from Diriyah Company to construct the luxurious  Ritz-Carlton Residences in Diriyah. The contract was awarded at the PIF Private Sector Forum held in Riyadh.

The Ritz-Carlton Branded Residences 

Image Credit Diriyah Company

To nurture a harmonious community experience, promoting social interaction through cultural venues, plazas, and leisure facilities, Diriyah Company and Ritz-Carlton have also announced the launch of the first Ritz-Carlton Luxury Branded Residences in the Kingdom.

The Villas will have 3 distinct luxury interior designs ranging from Najdi to contemporary. On completion, the Diriyah Project is due to feature 20,000 residential units, luxury hotels, and restaurants.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences offers six residential villa layouts from three to five bedrooms. Each villa includes a courtyard, presenting an ideal space for residents to relax and unwind. Furthermore, residents can choose three interior designs from traditional Najdi to contemporary.

A Vision of Responsibility

Image Credit The PIF

Inzerillo’s appointment as a United Nations Tourism Ambassador is a personal honor and an extension of the recognition of the work being done by the Diriyah Company.

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Inzerillo emphasizes the privilege of working in the tourism sector, one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors, employing 320 million people today, with an expected increase of 100 million within the next decade. However, he also acknowledges the immense responsibility that comes with this privilege.

He insists on ensuring their developments are innovative, actionable, and have a real and enduring impact. A key part of their master planning strategy is the commitment to sustainable practices, which extends beyond the day-to-day operations of Diriyah Company.

Driving Change

In his address to delegates in New York, Inzerillo stressed that sustainable tourism and proactive policymaking must become a driver of change for the industry. He believes that these elements can act as a catalyst for a vibrant and growing sector in Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Alongside receiving the tourism ambassador accolade, Jerry Inzerillo also participated in a 1-1 discussion about the future of tourism and joined a vibrant debate on sustainable tourism practices with other global industry leaders.

Advancing the Global Tourism Sector

Image Credit Visit Saudi

His appointment as a United Nations Tourism Ambassador is a testament to his steadfast dedication to advancing the global tourism sector. 

As he continues to lead Diriyah Company’s transformative initiatives, his vision for sustainable and innovative tourism will undoubtedly influence the future of the worldwide tourism industry.

Keep Reading: Diriyah Company Reveals Plans for A 20,000 Seater Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

Become smarter in just 5 minutes

Get the latest developments on The Saudi Boom straight to your inbox and stay ahead of the curve for free