Al-Turaif, Saudi Arabia: Cultural Tourism & A Living Community

Al-Turaif is part of the historic oasis of Al Diriya located on the banks of Wadi Hanifa next to Riyahd. It is the original home of the Saudi royal family and is one of the first World Heritage Sites in the Middle East. The Riyadh Development Authority under the Chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Amir of Riyadh, is sponsoring a two-term research lab on Al-Turaif. The Research Lab has two main goals: to produce designs and implementation strategies to bring the world heritage village back to life – to make it a living community; and to produce a design and development strategy for creating a tourism/resort community around Al-Turaif. The Fall term will begin with precedent studies for successful activation of world heritage sites and associated tourism facilities and strategies. Students will make a site visit to Saudi Arabia in October where they will meet with representatives of the Arriyadh Development Authority, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, planning agencies, city officials, real estate professionals, and other valuable contacts. Students working individually or in teams of two will develop design and implementation strategies for that part of the assignment that is of greatest interest to them.
Students who register for this course are automatically part of the New Geographies Lab. With the exception of those students who plan to graduate in January 2012, students in class are expected to continue the Spring Al-Turaif Lab as well. Students are expected to use the Lab as the basis for their thesis or scholarly paper on themes relating to class. Possible themes of students\’ thesis or scholarly paper may include urban developments in relation to cultural tourism, desert resort development, ecological landscape, historic preservation, sustainable design, real estate investments and finance in the Middle East. Students with design background who have not had a real estate class are also encouraged to apply for the class; however, MUP applicants should previously have taken at least basic real estate courses. Class Limit: 6 students by lottery; 2 students will be selected from the waiting list based on the above criteria and class balance .Expressions of interest and qualifications should be emailed to Professor Peiser ([email protected]) prior to the lottery.
First class meeting: Tuesday, August 30, 6:00 following the lottery, Room 321. Students must attend the first class to hold their place in the lottery.
(Participating students will be term billed $300 for international travel. This cost does not include meals and incidentals, such as visas, immunizations, local travel, etc.))