Saudi Arabia, a nation known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, has recently made a remarkable impression on the global stage. The 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held from September 10th to 25th, 2023, has showcased the kingdom’s unwavering commitment to culture and aligns seamlessly with its Vision 2030 transformation plan.
A win of Organization and Diplomacy
In an impressive display of organization and diplomacy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proven its ability to successfully host major international events. Riyadh, the nation’s capital, played host to the extended 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Al Faisaliah. This event held special significance as it marked the first in-person session of the World Heritage Committee in four years, underscoring its historical importance.
Vision 2030 in Action
The flawless execution of this event reflects Saudi Arabia’s dedication to Vision 2030, a roadmap aimed at economic diversification and reducing the nation’s reliance on oil revenues. This vision also emphasizes the development of essential public service sectors, including health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism.
Key Highlights from the UNESCO Event
- A spacious conference venue spanning 4,450 square meters, accommodating up to 4,000 attendees, making it the Kingdom’s largest column-free venue.
- State-of-the-art event spaces equipped with cutting-edge sound and projection systems, simultaneous interpretation booths, and high-speed WiFi for seamless operations.
- Additional facilities featuring three halls and exhibition areas to enhance the event’s scope.
- An impressive lineup of over 37 side events and exhibitions scheduled over the two-week duration.
- More than 60 cultural programs and guided tours tailored to provide guests with distinctive experiences in Saudi heritage, culture, traditions, and ceremonies.
- A comprehensive support network consisting of over 30 points of contact, 30 concierge personnel, 60 transportation coordinators, 25 booths, and 50 hosting teams.
- A fleet of 60 buses offering complimentary shuttle services connecting the venue, recommended hotels, and the airport for attendees’ convenience.
- The allotment of over 3,000 visas for UNESCO officials and guests from 195 member states, including instant pre-arrival and on-arrival processing.
- A world-class media center, registration desk, and program dedicated to catering to the needs of 34 international journalists tasked with covering the event.
- The construction and security of the main plenary hall align with UNESCO’s exact specifications and technical requirements, ensuring a flawless execution of the proceedings.
Saudi Arabia’s role as the host has propelled it into the global limelight as an expert organizer, showcasing the nation’s dedication to preserving and promoting world heritage. International delegates in attendance were undoubtedly captivated by Saudi Arabia’s concerted efforts and preparedness to manage such a significant event.
Saudi Arabia’s victorious hosting of the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee represents a monumental stride and a significant milestone in the nation’s cultural transformation journey.