RIYADH — The Royal Commission for Al-Ula has stepped up its efforts to transform Al-Ula’s Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz Airport and the Maraya Concert Hall as part of plans to create a major new tourism destination in Saudi Arabia. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
The construction work being carried out under the leadership of Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud, Minister of Culture and governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU), aims to transform Al-Ula’s domestic airport into an aviation hub that can welcome guests from around the world.
After the expansion, the airport will have an increase in capacity from 100,000 passengers to over 400,000 a year, marking an important step in the RCU’s aim to accommodate two million tourists by 2035, a RCU statement said.Development of the airport will include the construction of an extended apron area that can accommodate more aircraft while a new executive lounge will also be constructed and new digital information systems will be added to both the departures and arrivals areas.
Further interior and exterior design changes are also due to be made to the terminal buildings using local materials from Al-Ula.
A new taxiway is also planned for completion in the first quarter of 2020 to meet the growing demand.
Prince Badr said: “Expanding critical infrastructure, such as Al-Ula’s Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz Airport, in a sensitive and sympathetic way, is a central part of encouraging a diverse and dynamic tourism experience for the county in line with Vision 2030, enabling easier access to enable us to showcase our treasures to the world.
“It will transform the airport facilities from a purely domestic airport to one that in the future has the infrastructure systems in place to welcome international flights. This investment will bring a significant boost to the community by better connecting its economy with the wider region, an important pillar of the RCU Charter.”
He added that structural improvements and renovations to be made to the Maraya Concert Hall, the venue for the Winter at Tantora season, will result in a larger, permanent facility, seating over 500 people.
The acoustics are also being upgraded to operatic performance quality and a 500-seat restaurant is being added, along with an art exhibition space and a new rooftop terrace feature.
Prince Badr said: “The Maraya Concert Hall has already proven its credentials as a world-class venue during the first Winter at Tantora season. The enhancements taking place this year will cement this reputation still further, truly establishing it as a dynamic venue of choice for leading artists and performers nestled amongst an extraordinary natural backdrop.”