Cultural Heritage Development Projects



Elements of National Cultural Heritage that fall under the responsibility of SCTA: 

  • Antiquities.
  • Museums.
  • Urban heritage. 
  • Handicrafts and traditional industries.
Areas of work in the national cultural heritage:
  • Preservation.
  • Registration.
  • Scientific research.
  • Awareness and definition.
  • Sites rehabilitation and development.
  • Museums.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Architectural heritage.
  • Handicrafts.
  • Antiquities’ new regulations.
  • Preservation of archaeological sites and heritage (fencing and warning signs and the development of tariff).
  • Antiquities monitors program (continuous patrols on the sites).
  • Restoration of national antiquities.
  • Expropriation of archeological and heritage sites that are owned by the citizens.
  • Development of citizen's awareness as the first defender of the national heritage and antiquities.
  • Protection of monuments and sites those are located inside the investment, mining and development projects.

Protection of sites of Islamic monuments in Makkah and Al Madina:
  • Royal Decree issued on 20/04/2008, for inventory and conservation of the Islamic monuments in Makkah and Al Madina in an effort to benefit from them in a way that not conducive to their glorification and sanctification.
  • Cooperation with relevant authorities to list Islamic antiquity sites.
  • Cooperation with Makkah municipality and Makkah Development Authority in the development of Ghar Her'a and Ghar Thor in Makkah.
  • Cooperation with Al Madina municipality and Al Madina Development Authority in the development and rehabilitation of Uhud, Al Khandaq, Badr and Durb Al Suna route sites.
  • Recording the antiquity sites and developing their digital archaeological map.
  • Recording antiquities and heritage items.
Registering Kingdom’s heritage sites in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List: 
  • Registry of Median Saleh in the World Heritage List in 2008.
  • Registry of Al Dir’iyah historic site in the World Heritage List in 2010.
  • Registry of Jeddah Historic Area n the World Heritage List on 21 June, 2014.
  • Preparation of nomination file for Rock Art Sites at (Jeba and Al Shewaimis), in Hail province, in order to be registered in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
  • Preparation of a second list of a number of nominated sites for registration in the World Heritage List.
Scientific Research:
  • International cooperation in survey and excavation efforts (22 joint missions and 6 local missions).
  • Specialized archeological studies.
  • Partnerships in the field of scientific research with universities and relevant institutions.
  • Scientific publications.

Archeological Sites Preparation:
  • Establishment of a number of visitor centers in the archaeological and heritage sites.
  • Rehabilitation of a number of archaeological and heritage sites (70 site).
  • Site museums (Al Raka in Al Khobar and Mardoma and Al Defi in Al Jubail).
  • Rehabilitation of the historic routes (7 projects).
  • Rehabilitation of World Heritage Sites (Median Saleh, Dir’iyah, and Jeddah historical Area), in addition to the second list: (Domat Al Jandal, Magaer Shoaib (Shoaib Caves), Jeba rock inscriptions sites, Al Showaimis in Hail, rock inscriptions sites in Hama Well in Najran province).
Awareness and highlight of Antiquities and Heritage:
  • Establishment of the concepts of the cultural dimension of the Kingdom in general education curricula.
  • Partnership with the Ministry of Education for school students. 
  • "Heritage Enriches" program.
  • Documentary films on antiquities and heritage.
  • Media campaign on antiquities and heritage.
  • The national heritage in young hands.
  • Antiquities exhibitions in commercial complexes.
  • Information campaigns associated with traditional events and exhibitions.
  • Museum portfolio.
  • Heritage forums on internet.
  • National heritage landmarks on Google Earth.
  • "La Yatih Initiative", (restoration and rehabilitation of heritage buildings in collaboration with the building owners and private sectors) in the framework of "Tamkeen Initiative.
  • Development of the National Museum.
  • New museum projects in the regions (5 museums).
  • Developing existing museums (6 museums).
  • Provincial museums in historic buildings (20 Museum).
  • Museums of King Abdul Aziz's palaces (5 museums).
  • Specialized museums (9 museums).
  • Private museums (132 licensed museums).
Museums in the provinces:
  • Start establishment of five regional museums in each of Abha, Al Baha, Hail, Tabuk and Al Dammam.
  • Development of Makkah Museum at Al Zaheer Palace.
  • Development of Al Madina Museum at the Old Railway Station.
  • Preparation of studies of Al Qaseem Museum and Northern Province Museum.

Development of existing museums:
  • Development of Al Ula Museum.
  • Development of Tem'a Museum.
  • Development of Al Hofuf Museum.
  • Development of Al Jouf Museum (under execution).
  • Development of Jazan Museum.
  • Development of Najran Museum (under execution).
King Abdul Aziz reign museums (State Palaces):
  • Khozam Palace project.
  • Historic photos museum project (Qusr Al Badiea).
  • Al Kharj Palace project.
  • Al Mo'abda Palaces project, Makkah.
  • Development of museum showcasing techniques in Al Morabba Palace (under execution).
Municipal Museums:
  • Al Ghat Museum in Amara Palace.
  • Al Dawadmi Museum at King Abdul Aziz Palace.
  • Wadi Al Dawasir Museum at King Abdul Aziz Palace.
  • Debah Museum at King Abdul Aziz Fortress.
  • Al Wajh Museum in Al Souk Castle.  
  • Levant Haj Route Museum at Hajr Castle.
  • Hijaz Railway Museum, Al Hajr.
  • Onaiza Museum at Al Bassam house.
  • Shagra Museum at Al Sebai house.
  • Al Majm'a Museum at Rabea house.
  • Al Geryat Municipality Museum at Kaf Palace.
  • Al Zolfi Museum at Al Turath house.
  • Bait Al Baiya Museum in Al Ahsa.
  • Royal School Museum, Al Ahsa.
  • Ibrahim Palace Museum.
  • Al Babtain House Museum in Yanbu.
  • Enona Museum at Amara Building in Al Khoraiba.
  • Jazan Museum at Al Dosaria Castle.
  • Ottoman Castle Museum, Fursan.
  • Eshaiger Museum.
Specialized Museums:
Existing Museums:
  • Al Musmak Museum (on re-capture of Riyadh).
  • King Abdul Aziz Memorial Hall, King Abdul Aziz Dara.
  • Saqr Al Jazeera Aviation Museum. 
  • Museum of Coins at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
  • King Faisal Museum. 
New Museums Projects:
  • Holy Qur'an House Museum, Al Medina. 
  • Fine Arts Museum.
  • Minerals Museum. 
  • Transport and Communication Museum.
  • Al Nakhla Museum.
  • Al Dir’iyah Museum at Salwa Palace, Turaif quarter.
  • Equestrian Museum, Turaif Quarter, Al Dir’iyah.
  • Museum of Weapons.
  • Islamic Science Museum, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology.​

Private Museums:
  • Licensing.
  • Providing technical support.
  • Museums classification.
  • Restoration and maintenance of listed archeological items.
  • Private Museums Forum.
National Museum Works Development:
  • Composition of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum
  • Set visitors attraction programs.
  • National and international training programs for technical and administrative staff working in the museum.
  • Joint cooperation agreements between the National Museum and a number of world famous museums.
  • Organization of joint exhibitions between the National Museum and international museums.
National and International Exhibitions:
  • Islamic Art Masterpieces Exhibition, visiting event from the Louvre Museum (March 2006).
  • Gulf Council Countries Antiquities Exhibition (2009).
  • Photo Gallery of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz on the occasion of his safe and sound return to the homeland.
  • The First Exhibition of Recovered National Antiquities (under implementation). 
  • "Saudi Archeological Masterpieces through the Ages" exhibition which was held at the Louvre Museum in summer 2010, and moved to Barcelona in Spain and then to Russia, Germany before visiting USA and now being held in a number of cities in the US.
  • Haj and the Two Holy Mosques exhibition, which was held at the British Museum in 2012.
Urban Heritage:
  • Protection and conservation of architectural heritage and buildings.
  • Classification and registration of urban heritage buildings and sites.
  • Rising awareness about the urban heritage.
  • Rehabilitation and development of the urban heritage sites.
  • Investment and financing.
  • Training.
  • Technical support.
  • Partnership.
  • Events.

Protection of architectural heritage sites:
  • Stop the indiscriminate removal of heritage buildings.
  • Set up a special regulation for urban heritage.
  • Launch "Thameen" program to preserve the architectural heritage and its development through the involvement of local actors (public and private sectors) in the management, development and restoration of architectural heritage.
Classification of architectural and heritage sites and their registration:
  • List of viable sites for tourism development. 
  • Registration of distinctive sites in the World Heritage List.
  • Record the locations and buildings of architectural heritage in the National Antiquities Digital Record.
Awareness on the architectural heritage: 
  • Organization of the "First International Conference on Architectural Heritage in Islamic countries" under the auspice of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (April 18-23, 2011).   
  • Exploration of international experiences in the preservation of the architectural heritage by Mayors and municipal senior officials (6 visits / 300 participants).
  • Training programs for capacity building of the specialists and local communities (Tamkeen and La Yatih) programs.
  • Organization of workshops and meetings with officials, local community and municipal councils to highlight the importance of preservation and development of the urban heritage (more than 600 meetings).
Rehabilitation and development of the urban heritage:
  • Adoption of a five-year executive plan to preserve and develop the urban heritage in the Kingdom (2005(.
  • Heritage Villages development program (first phase 7 villages).
  • Historic City Centers improvement program in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (8 projects).
  • Popular Souks development and rehabilitation program in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (8 projects).
  • Rehabilitation program of historic buildings in the reign of King Abdul Aziz (first phase 10 projects - King Abdul Aziz palaces in Al Zaheer, Wadi Al Dawasir, Al Dawadmi, Al Kharj, Al Moya, Abo Jafan, Ntai, Al Badiya Khozam and Al Morab'a).


​​Urban heritage projects:

  • Heritage villages program, first phase (7 projects).
  • Al Ghat Heritage Town.
  • Al Ula Heritage Town (Al Dera District).
  • Rejal Al M'a Heritage Village.
  • Jeba Heritage Town.
  • Ze Ain Heritage Village.
  • Al Moznib Heritage Village.
  • Al Khobra Heritage Town.

Popular Souk Projects (8 projects):

  • Dhahran Al Janoub Souk
  • Mehael Asir Souk
  • Al Khoba Souk
  • Hail Souk
  • Al Qateef Souk
  • Al Makhwa Souk
  • Al-Nairia Souk
  • Al Goz Souk

Historic​ City ​Centers Projects: 

  • Riyadh City Center
  • Al Hofuf City Center
  • Al Taif City Center
  • Najran City Center
  • Tem'a City Center
  • Tabuk City Center
  • Abha City Center

Rehabilitation projects of the architectural heritage of Red Sea historical ports (Phase I):

  • Yanbu Historic Seaport
  • Amlaj Historic Seaport
  • Al Wajh Historic Seaport
  • Dhaba Historic Seaport

Urban Heritage Investment and Finance:
  • "Thameen" fund project.
  • Funding program for urban heritage projects through the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank.
  • Establishment of a company to invest in the heritage buildings owned by the state,
  • The program of specialized courses for workers and specialists in the field of architectural heritage.
  • Program of local and international seminars and conferences in the field of architectural heritage.
  • International visits for mayors and secretaries general to explore experiences in the urban heritage.
  • Training program for employees in the companies and institutions that carry out projects of urban heritage.
  • Training of artisans and interested parties in the local community on the architectural heritage preservation and development.
  • Training of college students specializing in the Design and Restoration and Rehabilitation of projects.
  • Training programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Technical Support:
  • Directory for restoration of mud and stone buildings.
  • Technical support program for relevant governmental authorities.
  • Technical support program for private owners and individuals projects.
  • Rehabilitation program for local contractors and engineering offices in the field of architectural heritage.
  • Mud Building Center.
  • Partnership program with the municipalities and townships.
  • Cooperation program with universities (7 universities).



  • Events program in urban heritage sites (50 events).
  • Souk Okaz.
  • Heritage festivals program (more than 80 festivals).


  • National Strategy for the development of handicrafts.
  • The National Program for Handicraft "Bari". 
  • Temporary Action Program for Handicraft.
  • Training program (45 courses and 1502 trainees, male and female).
  • Establishment of permanent headquarters for artisans in provinces (8 locations).