Departure into the Saudi past

Departure into the Saudi past

18th-century adobe architecture: In Diriyah, the historic heart of the country will soon be accessible to all.
Bild: Getty

On the outskirts of the capital Riyadh, the heritage is being polished up with great effort in order to present it to the whole world – even the own people should learn something here.

Ein crown jewel of clay. The restoration of the oasis settlement Diriyah is worth a lot to the Saudi state. The Saudi state and private companies want to invest 50 billion dollars to make Diriyah, which is on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh, one of the most important tourist destinations in the kingdom. The Saudi government then expects 27 million visitors a year, most of whom will be day tourists from the kingdom. Those who want to stay longer should be able to choose from 38 hotels in just a few years.

The citizens of Saudi Arabia are the most important target group. They should experience the history of their state at this identity-forming place. Like all Muslims, they too look to Mecca and Medina, the two holy sites of Islam, of which the Saudi king claims to be the guardian. In addition, they should also experience their own Saudi identity here. Just as the Iraqis are proud of the history of Mesopotamia and the Egyptians are proud of the pharaohs, they too should be proud of their own history. After all, the first Saudi state was founded here almost three hundred years ago, in 1727.


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