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UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Visits the Virtual Future of Riyadh

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Visits the Virtual Future of Riyadh

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Visits the Virtual Future of Riyadh

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Visits the Virtual Future of Riyadh

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Abduallah al-Mouallimi and the Mayor of Riyadh and President of the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), Ibrahim al Sultan, in touring the ‘A Day in Riyadh’ interactive exhibit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Friday.

The Secretary General was given a demonstration of the virtual reality tour of Saudi Arabia’s capital and also met with Saudi students volunteering at the ‘A Day in Riyadh’ exhibit, which ran from September 26-30 inside the U.N.

The event, sponsored by ADA, consisted of a series of workshops showcasing the urban, environmental, transportation, social and economic development of Riyadh, and featuring the exchange of experience and knowledge by experts in their respective fields.

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Riyadh is a city rich in heritage and culture, and one of the discussions Friday focused on the effort to preserve and maintain the heritage of the city during the disruption of the massive projects to make over the transportation system, commercial space and dwellings.

Friday’s workshop, the “Development of Civilization and Social Partnerships,” showcased a new municipal endeavor to enrich a sense of community and draw residents closer to their mutual heritage.

The first panel highlighted cultural and historical projects such as the Historical Arriyadh Development Program and the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre.

“Riyadh has a moving story with its rich heritage that integrates architectural innovation with Saudi Arabia’s past,” said Dr. Mshari Al-Naim, Director of the Center of Urban Heritage at the Tourism General Assembly. “We are proud to have put Riyadh on the international map of architecture. The King Abdallah Historical Center in particular has become a very important architectural design renowned in the Arab world,”

Partnerships for social and intellectual development, including scholarships, municipal elections, and the participation of women in the development of the city was the focus of the second half of the workshop.

“Saudi women are making incredible progress” said Dr. Khawla Al Kuraya, the Director of the King Fahad National Center for Children’s Cancer and Research, and a Member of the Shura Council. “Riyadh’s development means more opportunities for Saudi women as the Kingdom’s economy moves away from oil. We are part of Vision 2030 which seeks to increase the percentage of women in the workforce. We will shatter existing stereotypes within the contours of our culture.”

Dr. Hayat Sindi, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Sciences, called Riyadh is a “city of innovations,” and that she “seeks to bring science to all sections of Saudi society as a means to solve development challenges.”

Reflecting on the week-long conference ADA President Ibrahim bin Mohammed Alsultan said “‘A Day in Riyadh’ was an enormous success in explaining the transformation taking place in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia generally.”

Photo courtesy: Arriyadh Development Authority

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