The ministers of culture of the countries belonging to the League of Arab States (LAS) have chosen the city of Al-Diriya, the historical homeland of the Saudi dynasty and the centre of the Diri emirate, the first Saudi state (1744-1818), as the “capital of Arab culture – 2030”. “Capital” changes its location every year.
The decision was made during the annual meeting of the ALECSO (The Arab Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) to pay tribute to the historical and cultural significance of Ad-Diriya in the Arab world.
Previously, this title was awarded to Riyadh in 2000, when UNESCO noted its increased contribution to the development of modern literature, devoted mainly to various aspects of the life of the peoples of the Middle East.
According to the Minister of Culture of Saudi Arabia, Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, such recognition of the two Saudi cities increases their prestige. The official emphasised that the selection of Al-Diriya as the capital of Arab culture for 2030 is of particular importance since the completion of the large-scale Saudi Vision program is expected to be completed at the same time.
The country’s authorities intend to make this city one of the most important cultural and tourist destinations, pushing it to the level of such world-famous sites as the Parthenon in Athens or the Colosseum in Rome. Designating Ad-Diriya as Capital of Arab Culture will benefit the kingdom since such an event will bring public attention to the project, increasing the number of foreign visitors and investors.