Al Ula, located 1,100 km from Riyadh is the new cultural center of Saudi Arabia, showcasing the exceptional heritage and nature wonders, including sandstone mountains, green oasis and sand formations. The carvings in the sand mountains, marking the location of ancient city of Hegra are often liken to Petra in Jordan, and will become the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia.
The project owner, Royal Commission for Al-Ula wishes to develop the location into tourism destination that can welcome 2 million visitors throughout the year, allowing them to enjoy the miracles of Al-Ula. One of the sites, Ashar, developed by RCU and its brand Banyan Tree in partnership with Accor Hotels, will see the expansion from the existing ultra-luxurious 35 villas to 82 in total, adding the high-end spa and several gourmet restaurants, all blended in natural landscape.
Egis, in partnership with AW2 Architects and MDP (Michel Desvignes Paysagiste) provides master planning, concept and detailed design for a new Ashar Resort, with a special focus on innovative solutions: flood mitigation solutions specifically designed for the site using a hydro model, sustainable water strategy including reuse for irrigation, power supply optimization with a permanent electrification and high level technical conception of buildings and infrastructures.