Saudi Arabia’s $63 Billion Diriyah Giga Project, which features the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, has been awarded Platinum LEED Certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability.
Diriyah’s commendable achievement in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a testament to its commitment to sustainability and a healthier environment.
The Platinum LEED Certification
The first phase of Diriyah’s master plan has been awarded Platinum Level LEED for Cities Certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The accreditation in LEED for Cities and Communities marks the first time a project in the Middle East has received the accolade.
The LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of achievement in sustainability. It provides a framework for building healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings and communities.
What is LEED for Cities and Communities?
LEED for Cities and Communities provides a globally consistent way to measure and communicate performance. The Platinum certification, which Diriyah received, is the highest level within the LEED framework. This accolade is a testament to Diriyah’s commitment to creating a sustainable and resilient urban environment.
USGBC’s Statement on Diriyah’s Achievement
Peter Templeton, president and CEO of the USGBC and its certification body, GCBI, lauded Diriyah’s commitment to sustainability.
“LEED has been a transformative tool for buildings, and we are now seeing the impact it can have at the city and community level, particularly in key areas of human and environmental health. As the first community in the Middle East to earn Platinum certification on LEED v4.1 for Cities: Plan and Design, the first phase of Diriyah’s masterplan is leading the way to a better world and helping USGBC continue toward our goal of sustainability by prioritizing issues such as resilience and green infrastructure for all.”
Diriyah’s Unique Features
Diriyah’s first phase includes entertainment, shopping, cultural, commercial, and residential assets. The development is designed to attract visitors from across the globe with its unique blend of traditional and modern architectural elements.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Diriyah is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the mud-brick-walled At-Turaif District. With its rich history and cultural heritage, Diriyah offers a unique opportunity for locals and tourists to explore Saudi Arabian history and culture.
A Giga Project of Saudi Arabia
In January, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), designated the Diriyah Project as the Public Investment Fund’s fifth giga project in the kingdom. The other four are NEOM, Red Sea, Qiddiya, and Roshn.
The Vision for Diriyah
Diriyah’s ambitious project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the kingdom’s economy and enhance its image as a global tourist and cultural hub. As a key giga-project in Vision 2030, Diriyah is expected to attract 27 million visitors by 2030.
The At-Turaif District
At the heart of Diriyah lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, one of the most significant historical sites in Saudi Arabia. The district, which is the original capital of the modern Kingdom and the birthplace of the ruling Al Saud family, is being preserved and protected to promote nearly 300 years of Arab history.
A Blend of Tradition and Modern Urbanism
The development master plan of Diriyah aims to create a harmonious blend of traditional Najdi architecture and modern urbanism. The area will be transformed into a cultural hub with facilities, hotels, and residences showcasing Saudi Arabian history.
Diriyah’s Impact on the Local Economy and Community
Beyond contributing to the nation’s tourism goals, Diriyah Gate will also strengthen the local economy and support the community through various initiatives. These initiatives are expected to increase employment opportunities and improve living standards.
Diriyah’s Future Plan
With a rolling master plan, Diriyah aims to launch new assets annually until 2030. The goal is to establish the area as a world-class cultural hub in the nation’s heart.
Hotels, Cultural Attractions, and More
Diriyah plans to open 38 new hotels and resorts, including properties by big-name brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, and Raffles. Additionally, six museums, 26 cultural attractions, more than 400 luxury and lifestyle outlets, and over 100 souqs and bazaars are planned.
With its commitment to sustainability, cultural preservation, and urban development, Diriyah is setting a new benchmark for projects in the Middle East. As it evolves, the world watches anxiously to see how this ambitious Saudi Arabian project shapes the region’s future.