Maraya, a multi-purpose event and conference center in Saudi Governor AlUla, hosted the largest gathering of the world’s most creative minds, the second Hegra conference of Nobel laureates and their friends, from June 3 to 5, 2022.
The event brought together 10 Nobel Prize winners, including former President of Poland and Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa, along with winners of the King Faisal International Prize, the King Salman Award for Disability Research and the Loyal UNESCO Prize for Women in Science and Pulitzer Prize winners. The theme of the main event was “An Opportunity to Make Critical Decisions in Critical Times” and participants will announce their recommendations during the conference in the coming days, with the aim of motivating decision makers around the world to take the necessary actions to preserve. the security and development of mankind in the twenty-first century.
Mirrors reflect the stunning beauty of Wadi Ashar, full of rocks, home to ancient kingdoms dating back 7,000 years. This architectural marvel was designed by Italian architects at Gio Forma, and was named the largest reflective building in the Guinness Book of Records in 2020.
Maraya also recently hosted international music events for world-renowned artists including Lionel Richie, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli, contemporary art exhibitions and business events such as the 2021 GCC Summit and the first Stone Conference of Nobel Prize winners and their friends in 2020.
The mirrors have a 26-meter high stage with a capacity of 582 seats that looks out onto a giant retractable window of 800 square meters that can open to nature and mix environment and entertainment seamlessly. In addition to the auditorium, Maraya has a ground floor and three upper floors, with flexible spaces and amenities. The ground floor contains two large halls with a capacity of 500 and 600 people respectively, with another hall that can accommodate 200 people. The ground floor also contains a VIP room for up to 100 people.
The first floor offers VIP facilities with spaces for 75 to 100 people and the Royal Suite, which can accommodate 12 people. While the second floor offers conference facilities and spaces, from 50 people to 300 people, with space for sound equipment and production space.
As for the third floor, it offers a luxury restaurant with an indoor capacity of 120 people, an outdoor restaurant for 80 people, and a roof terrace of 1005 square meters. Recently, Maraya Social Restaurant was opened in October 2021 until the end of March 2022 under the management of the English chef and owner of the restaurant Jason Atherton. Chef Atherton owns and operates three Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide. Maraya Social Restaurant offered a menu that is a mix of local Arabic dishes and European options. It is scheduled to reopen soon.
Historically, AlUla has been at the crossroads of civilizations for thousands of years, and is now being revived as an important destination for trade and the exchange of cultures and ideas. AlUla’s heritage and beautiful scenery allow great minds to consult in a destination that promotes purposeful exchanges and promotes innovation.
From the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia near Hegra, to the ancient village of AlUla, and the ancient heritage sites of Dadan and Jabal Ikma, AlUla offers a new destination filled with ancient history to meet the mind.
With a range of authentic pre- and post-event experiences, AlUla presents itself as a brand new destination for the global business event industry.
The district is known for its rich stories, welcoming locals, beautiful landscapes and mix of outdoor and indoor spaces and venues, which inspire visitors to business opportunities. AlUla is home to a variety of restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine available throughout the year, with various vegetarian options available on request.
In terms of accommodation options, AlUla is home to enchanting resorts against the backdrop of desert canyons and valleys, such as Habitas AlUla, a sustainable destination in Wadi Ashar, where the ethos of the place is to provide an immersive experience that human connection and inspire. the pursuit of nature. The “Caravan by Habitas” experience offers a unique accommodation for lovers of immersion in nature. The caravan site makes it possible to arrange events as it is a campsite surrounded by sandstone cliffs in the open air, and can be adapted to suit various occasions.
While at Shaden Resort, located in a desert valley near Al Ula’s famous Elephant Mountain, guests can choose from a variety of room types, including two-bedroom villas with a private pool. Spaces that can be offered for business events include a meeting room for up to 120 people, and PVC tents that can be temporarily built in different areas within the resort to suit different occasions.
It is also possible to host a business lunch or dinner party at Al Badia Restaurant in Schaden. More hotels will open in the coming months and years, including the Banyan Tree Resort AlUla – a 5-star luxury hotel in Wadi Ashar that will open in October 2022.
Al-Ula International Airport receives weekly flights from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, with a flight time of less than two hours. While the two direct flights from Dubai make it easy and accessible to get to AlUla. Efforts are also being made to add more flights to Al-Ula from major international airports, which will help make the destination more accessible.
AlUla offers a wonderful gateway to the rich culture of the Arabian Peninsula, and with the addition of its developments, AlUla will become a major destination for business travel and events in the years to come.