Diriyah Company has today joined the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as an Affiliate Member in a significant move towards fostering global tourism collaboration and advancing Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector. This development reaffirms Diriyah Company’s dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and contributing to the growth of the global tourism industry.
The Diriyah Project is a flagship initiative within Vision 2030 and is central to the Kingdom’s transformation agenda. It is a project with a USD 63.2 billion investment pipeline, adding around US$18.6 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP. It will create 178,000 direct jobs and aims to attract 50 million visits a year by 2030.
Affiliate Members form an integral part of the UNWTO Membership, contributing to a more sustainable, innovative, and collaborative global sector – consistent with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Their commitment to shaping the future of tourism aligns seamlessly with Diriyah Company’s vision for creating a world-renowned cultural and historical destination.
Under the guidance of His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Diriyah is dedicated to achieving sustainable development, economic diversification, and social progress. The Diriyah giga-project is in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, as it primarily focuses on urban regeneration and sustainable development in Diriyah. Being one of Saudi Arabia’s pioneering giga-projects Diriyah serves as one of the driving forces behind Vision 2030 – and plays a critical role in realizing the Vision’s ambitious goal of increasing tourism’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP from 3.2% to 10% by the end of the decade.
Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said: “Tourism connects people, cultures, and economies. In our shared global future, tourism plays a crucial role in promoting sustainability, collaboration and economic prosperity. Because of this, I am absolutely delighted that Diriyah is an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO – marking a significant milestone in Saudi Arabia’s commitment to global tourism collaboration. Diriyah’s importance cannot be overstated, not only for Saudi Arabia but for the world at large. It stands as a shining example of the transformative power of sustainable tourism, bridging heritage and modernity, and contributing to the growth of our global tourism community.”
Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, stated: “We are hugely proud to become an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO. It marks an incredible milestone in our journey to bring Diriyah’s heritage and culture to the world stage, as we share the City of Earth’s rich legacy with the global community. This partnership truly reflects our unwavering dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism. Together, we’ll create unforgettable experiences for travellers and make a positive impact on our world.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), commented: “Diriyah’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural heritage while promoting sustainable tourism aligns seamlessly with UNWTO’s mission. This affiliation is a testament to the Kingdom’s dedication to making tourism a force for positive change globally, and I look forward to the invaluable contributions Diriyah Company will bring to our international network. There is only one Diriyah”.
As an Affiliate Member, Diriyah Company will actively engage with UNWTO and its global network to collaborate on initiatives, share insights, and support the organization’s mission of making tourism a force for positive change around the world. This partnership is set to enhance the cultural exchange, heritage preservation, and sustainable tourism efforts undertaken by Diriyah Company.
The collaboration will also facilitate discussions on sustainability, innovation, and inclusivity in the tourism sector, all of which are essential components of Diriyah Company’s ongoing efforts to transform the historic city of Diriyah into a vibrant tourist destination. Diriyah Company’s affiliation with the UNWTO is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s shared global commitment to advancing the tourism industry, promoting responsible travel, and preserving the world’s cultural and historical heritage.