AlUla: Hosting The 41st GCC Summit
The 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit is taking place in Saudi Arabia at the ancient city of historical civilizations, AlUla, which was once at the crossroads of antiquity. For the 10th year, the kingdom is holding the GCC summit. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait are the GCC’s six member states.
The GCC Summit, which was inaugurated in 1981, paves the way for the region to strengthen and reinforce cooperation and friendly relations between the Member States. For the GCC, the 41st summit marks the start of a new chapter as it reaches its fifth decade. The summit aims to encourage collective action and to broaden cooperation and integration between Member States. The Secretary-General of the GCC, Nayef Falah Al-Hajjraf, invited the leaders of the member states to the summit at the request of King Salman.
The summit’s venue, Maraya Concert Hall, is a cube-shaped building covered by more than 9,500 square metres of mirrors that represent the striking surrounding landscape. The hall is situated in Wadi Ashaar near the volcanic freeway, where it is surrounded by mountainous terrain. It was inaugurated in 2019 and is called the “mirrored wonder” due to the giant sheets of glass attached to the structure. It can seat up to 500 guests and, since its launch, has hosted a variety of cultural events.
The summit’s location is significant. AlUla, tucked away in the shadows of the Hijaz Mountains that stretch the length of the western region, was once a city buzzing with activity and its influence spread across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Today, AlUla is rediscovered and prosperous, and one of the region’s most important summits is hosted by the former trading capital of ancient kingdoms, re-establishing its importance in the modern world.
The relevance of the 41st session of the Gulf Summit was also underlined due to the recent political developments in the region. There will be a supportive and brotherly environment for the summit hosted by the Kingdom. The atmosphere among the leaders of the GCC reflected the sense of duty and genuine belief in the importance of strengthening the unity of the Gulf in the face of common challenges and of creating peace and stability for the Council’s benefit.
The area has faced significant political and economic difficulties. GCC leaders would address these issues with a united vision that derived from their belief in a common destiny and a keenness to protect the interests of the nations of the region and their peoples.
AlUla Valley includes a variety of historical sites that once hosted the ancient civilizations of Dadan and Lihyan. The Royal Commission for AlUla made it its mission to restore it as a cultural oasis to its rightful place.