BANGKOK – December 22, 2023 – When the Diriyah Company announced a unique giga-project with distinctive cultural, historical, and tourism landmarks, it invited international partners to come together and construct a new legacy for Saudi Arabia. Six Senses will help bring this to life through a new hotel in Wadi Safar, which lies just west of Diriyah and northwest of Riyadh.
“As the Kingdom evolves and opens to tourism, it is garnering strong interest among international visitors to explore its heritage sites and outstanding natural beauty,” said Chief Executive Officer of Six Senses Neil Jacobs. “We are excited to be working closely with Diriyah Company as we align visions and invite guests to explore the Kingdom.”
New Global Landmark for the Kingdom
Just 25 miles from Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport and 15 minutes northwest of the city, Six Senses Wadi Safar will feature 80 guest rooms spread across five clusters on top of a hill with panoramic views over the dramatic valley. True to the region’s deep cultural roots and original Najdi-style palatial architecture, the resort will pair the vibe of a traditional gathering place with the ultimate in luxurious and contemporary living.
This latest Six Senses project forms part of a 23-square-mile gated Wadi Safar community, a secluded, discreet, and peerless lifestyle destination for Saudi society and international visitors. Alongside the royal residences, the exclusive resort, recreation, and leisure assets will be set against a vast and breathtaking landscape of natural beauty. Plans are afoot to host flagship international sporting, arts, cultural, retail, and fashion events alongside social enterprise to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. This bold blueprint is intended to harness the potential of its younger generations, open to tourism, and turn the nation’s greatest strengths into a vibrant society and diverse and sustainable economy.
Cultural Retreats and Wellness Breaks
With space in abundance, guest accommodations at Six Senses Wadi Safar will extend across 49 acres. Offering the utmost in security and seclusion and only two hours from the six GCC countries, the resort will host special events, weekend retreats, and longer-stay breaks for history explorers and wellness seekers alike.
Six Senses Spa will be a sensory experience with dedicated suites for sight and touch, treatment rooms, a hammam, a salon, a gym and studio, and a separate yoga studio. From yoga programs, signature massages, and biohacking tools to multi-day retreats and brand standards such as Sleep With Six Senses and Eat With Six Senses, there will be something for everyone.
The region’s history goes back thousands of years: it was once an ancient trade and pilgrimage route and a meeting spot for people traveling to or from Asia, Africa, or Europe, sharing food and stories around the night fire. While the guest rooms are secluded, the restaurants incorporate this community aspect and extend traditional hospitality, inviting guests to gather and enjoy seasonal sharing plates themed to the location. The main restaurant will open out to the pool and will be complemented by a signature restaurant, grill, and brew bar. There will be a multi-use events space with an outdoor amphitheater and a boutique in the style of an artisan souk.
With families in mind, a full Grow With Six Senses activity program will be available with a local twist. By day, expect to roll up the sleeves for mud brick making, traditional Najdi design workshops, Sadu weaving, and pottery, and by night, the stars come alive in the sky and on the screen of the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The Earth Lab is also a family affair, introducing guests young and old to desert conservation.
Ambitious Heritage Restoration Project
The Experience Center will be a gateway to a host of desert adventures, including easy access to the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site in nearby Diriyah, which is set to offer a comprehensive journey through Saudi history preserved in open-air museums.
From its beginnings in the 15th century, Diriyah grew from a small oasis to a thriving crossroads for culture and commerce. The citadel within the At-Turaif district was the original seat of power and the birthplace of a unified Saudi State. It succeeded as the nation’s capital in 1824 with the nearby settlement of Riyadh. In 2010, At-Turaif was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, “The City Of Earth” is home to a meticulous heritage development project.
Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, said:
“Diriyah presents hospitality operators with a unique opportunity – to redefine their guest experience within the context of nearly three hundred years of cultural heritage. From design and location to local cuisine, materials, and customs, Diriyah’s hospitality portfolio is differentiated by an unreplaceable vibrancy and depth of culture. We are thrilled that Six Senses is joining our portfolio, and we look forward to welcoming guests from all corners of the planet to sample its sumptuous offering.”
Where in the World
Wadi Safar lies near the Wadi Hanifah area of Riyadh, within 20 minutes of the city’s main attractions and within 40 minutes of the international airport. The flight time from major cities in the GCC is between 1 hour 20 minutes and 2 hours 30 minutes. Six Senses Wadi Safar is set to open in 2026.
Six Senses Wadi Safar, Saudi Arabia, will be opening its doors with panoramic views over the dramatic valley.
About Wadi Safar
Wadi Safar is a sanctuary of refinement and well-being built from a rich cultural heritage. It is a destination steeped in history and tradition, close to one of Saudi Arabia’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites and immersed in unspoiled natural landscape.
As much as this special location once was the gathering place for traders and travelers from Asia, Africa, and Europe, Wadi Safar is today’s modern embodiment: a cultural hub where the world’s finest experiences and visionary minds combine. This unique and ever-evolving story is shaped by a chorus of exceptional brands and voices coming together to create a captivating lifestyle destination and a new global landmark.
Diriyah is set to become Saudi Arabia’s foremost historical, cultural, and lifestyle destination. As part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, 14 square kilometers of Diriyah will be transformed into one of the world’s foremost historic tourism destinations. Diriyah is located within Riyadh province, just 15 minutes northwest of Riyadh’s city center. It is recognized as a symbolic center of inspiration for the generations of leaders that have led the Kingdom since the foundation of the first Saudi Arabian state in 1727. As the renewed cultural and historic capital of the nation, Diriyah will be designed and built with Saudi traditions and heritage in mind. The mixed-use traditional urban community will be created in an authentic Najdi architectural style, typical of Saudi villages of centuries past. Sitting at the cultural heart of Diriyah lies the historic city of At-Turaif. Built in 1766, At-Turaif is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mud-brick cities. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, it is today set to become one of the nation’s must-see historic destinations. With cultural and lifestyle experiences at its heart, Diriyah will be enriched by entertainment, learning, shopping, dining, hospitality, residential and workplace offerings.
On completion, it will be home to a population of more than 100,000 residents, workers, students, and visitors and will celebrate the rich cultural history of Saudi Arabia. The development will feature an array of world-class cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, office, and residential areas, including 41 hotels, a diverse collection of museums, a bustling retail heart, and over 100 places to dine. The existing Bujairi Terrace will soon be home to Riyadh’s new premium dining hub, enjoying uninterrupted views of At-Turaif and the 135-key Bab Samhan, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Diriyah. Wadi Hanifah, a two square kilometer space accessible from the escarpment walk, will provide passive and active recreational spaces and boutique hospitality venues, places to unwind and spend the afternoon with family and friends in the beautiful Wadi surroundings.
About Diriyah Company
Diriyah Company, formerly Diriyah Development Authority (DGDA), was established in July 2017 and is responsible for the preservation of Diriyah’s history, celebrating its community and establishing the UNESCO World Heritage site of At-Turaif, as one of the world’s greatest gathering places at the heart of Saudi Arabia, embodying the rich heritage and culture of the Kingdom. We are focused on the protection and preservation of the Kingdom’s history including the stories of our forefathers as well as our physical heritage. In line with design, development, and preservation standards, Diriyah Company is creating an environment that enhances Diriyah’s historic, national, and international relevance, including the preservation of At-Turaif.
Diriyah Company is transforming Diriyah into one of the region’s foremost destinations for cultural knowledge-sharing activities and international events. We aspire to develop Diriyah into a global gathering place by creating rich experiences that narrate the stories of its history, instilling a sense of Saudi pride, and creating globally renowned destinations and landmarks. The Company is ensuring Diriyah’s cultural landmarks are complemented by leading hospitality brands, fine dining experiences and world-class retail offerings. We are devoted to enabling the people of Diriyah to achieve their goals and in bringing to life the historic town for both local and international audiences.
Diriyah Company will celebrate the local community, showing social, cultural, and historical achievements, connecting with Saudi Arabia’s roots, and creating solid foundations on which to build the best possible future for the community. Diriyah Company works alongside Diriyah’s executive bodies as the primary regulator for the supervisory area (194 sq km) and will exercise best practices in Land Management and Building Permits and License issuance and oversight.