Two new museums break ground in AlUla

Two new museums break ground in AlUla



The Contemporary Art Museum and Museum of the Incense Road are just the beginning of developments coming to the region.

If you haven't been to AlUla already - this news is going to make you want your bags. In honour of International Museum Day, Saudi Arabia's Royal Commission for AlUla announced it would open two new museums in the region. 

The two new museums will be the Contemporary Art Museum and the Museum of the Incense Road, work for which will soon begin. The Contemporary Art Museum will showcase a core collection of works by artists from the regions adjoining the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. It will be a cultural hub and a sustainable structure, incorporating artist-designed gardens and promoting environmental renewal and regeneration.

AlUla’s Wadi AlFann

On the other hand, The Museum of the Incense Road will be the world's first museum dedicated to the illustrious network of ancient trading routes via both land and sea. It will depict the rich tapestry of history, spanning thousands of years, where AlUla served as a bustling intersection for commerce, cultural exchange, and the sharing of knowledge. Moreover, the museum will provide a platform for showcasing the continuous archaeological excavations taking place in AlUla, highlighting the significance of the Incense Road in shaping the region's cultural heritage.

But designing such grand museums is no easy feat which is why an international competition was held to find the perfect architects. A jury comprising experts in architecture, landscape and museology was created to help make the final decision. Chaired by Dr. Khaled Azzam, the visionary behind AlUla's Journey Through Time Masterplan, the jury carefully evaluated the submissions and selected Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan.

AlUla Museums

Lina, known for her ability to merge art, architecture and design, will be responsible for designing the Contemporary Art Museum. Her previous works include the Serpentine Pavilion in London, which received rave reviews. She expressed her excitement about the project, highlighting how the natural environment of AlUla and the local community have deeply inspired her.

Asif, the architect behind the giant gateways to Expo 2020 Dubai, will design the Museum of the Incense Road. Asif's innovative approach to architecture, which combines past and future while considering material experimentation and social context, makes him an excellent choice for this groundbreaking project. 

These museums form part of AlUla's Journey Through Time Masterplan, which aims to reinvigorate the region and establish a new cultural legacy.  

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