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Home » Travel » The Royal Commission for Al Ula Unveils Plans World-Class Equestrian Village
The Royal Commission for Al Ula Unveils Plans World-Class Equestrian Village
AlUla Equestrian Village

The Royal Commission for Al Ula unveils plans for the Al Muatadil Equestrian Village, a game-changing project to turn Al Ula into a global equestrian destination. It combines modern design with Al Ula’s heritage while supporting Saudi Arabia’s tourism ambitions.

The project, led by architect Erik Behrens from AECOM, seamlessly integrates the region’s cultural heritage with sustainable and innovative design.

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The Vision

Image Credit AECOM

The 285-hectare AlMuatadil Equestrian Village is envisioned as a focal point for equestrian activities on a global scale. Its design reflects the duality of preserving AlUla’s cultural heritage while catering to the modern demands of a worldwide audience. 

The project aligns perfectly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and RCU’s Journey Through Time master plan, promoting economic diversification and sustainable development.

The Design

The architectural design of the Equestrian Village is a testament to the region’s vibrant cultural heritage and natural beauty. The village’s aesthetic echoes the earthen tones of the desert and the dark hues of sandstone canyon walls. 

Behrens notes that the design is inspired by the stunning natural features of the site, aiming to create a memorable and inspiring Equestrian Village.

The Facilities

Image Credit AECOM

The Equestrian Village boasts top-notch facilities, including two arenas for various events, accommodating 5,000 and 1,400 spectators, respectively. Furthermore, it includes a grass polo, a sand polo, and endurance venues, each with seating capacities ranging from 400 to 600 seats.

Amenities and Accommodation

Image Credit AECOM

Complementing these facilities are visitor amenities, two stable compounds housing 740 horses, and accommodation and retail outlets for event participants and workers. These provisions ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for both spectators and participants.

Sustainability Initiatives

AECOM’s design prioritizes sustainability. The village’s organic waste will be repurposed as fertilizer to support local agriculture, and water from the stables’ cooling systems will be recycled. 

Walls and internal partitions are constructed from rammed earth using traditional methods and local materials, enhancing the project’s eco-friendly approach.

Stable Compound

Image Credit AECOM

The welfare of the horses has been given priority in the design of AlMuatadil’s stable blocks. The undulating roofs allow natural daylight to flood the space, creating a calming atmosphere. 

Additionally, a 6,000-square-meter veterinary clinic will provide comprehensive services, including emergency and routine surgery, hematology, stem-cell and plasma rehabilitation therapies, and laser surgery.

Economic Impact

Beyond its sporting significance, the Equestrian Village is expected to become an economic catalyst for AlUla County. By offering new career pathways for residents, the project is set to contribute significantly to the local economy.

Training Opportunities

Image Credit AECOM

As part of its contribution to the community, RCU’s partnership with the Association de Formation et d’Action Sociale des Écuries de Courses (AFASEC) will provide training to young Saudis, enhancing their technical qualifications for specialized roles in the equestrian sector.

International Collaboration

Image Credit AECOM

The project also benefits from a partnership with Polo Club Saint-Tropez, infusing international expertise into the management and development of equestrian offerings. This collaboration will enhance the quality of polo club management, tournament organization, and horse care in the village.

Equestrian Events

Image Credit AECOM

The village’s facilities are designed to host various equestrian events, from dressage to concerts. This versatility ensures the town can cater to diverse interests, attracting a broad spectrum of visitors and participants.

Unique Landscape Context

Image Credit AECOM

The Equestrian Village is designed to blend with the unique landscape of AlUla. The individual equestrian venues are discreetly embedded within the undulating dune scape, providing direct access to the village and expansive views of the rock formations.

Redefining the Equestrian Landscape

Image Credit AECOM

The AlMuatadil Equestrian Village is a grand vision brought to life, reflecting the perfect blend of heritage and modernity. As it rises in the heart of AlUla, it promises to transform the region into an international hub for equestrian activities.

This ambitious project is a testament to the power of innovative design, sustainable practices, and international collaboration. As it takes shape, the AlMuatadil Equestrian Village is set to redefine the equestrian landscape, not just in Saudi Arabia but across the globe.

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