Plans have been revealed by Saudi Arabia to build a luxury eco-tourism resort called Sharaan to turn the north-western region of Al-Ula into a world heritage destination.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz patronised the Al-Ula Vision initiative to set up heritage and eco-tourism projects that will boost the kingdom's tourism offering.
Plans to transform the ancient area of Al-Ula, which spans more than 22,000km², include a luxury eco-resort called Sharaan, as well as Sharaan Natural Reserve. The resort is due to be completed in 2023 and will include luxury suites and units, a wellness spa, and a venue for hosting events and conferences.
HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was briefed on the Sharaan resort during the inauguration of the Al-Ula Vision programme.
The Crown Prince also patronised Sharaan Natural Reserve, which aims to rebalance the ecosystem in the historical heritage site and help native wildlife and endangered plants flourish once again in Al-Ula, located 300km north of Madinah.
Mohamed Salim, head of the nature department at Royal Commission for Al-Ula, which is leading the development of the area, said the nature reserve would set new standards for biodiversity and the reintroduction of animals into the wild.
“The rehabilitation and resettlement of endangered plants and animals in the reserve will have a significant impact on the region's biodiversity,” Salim said, according to a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.