Saudi crown prince MBS is building the world’s largest equestrian village in the Unesco heritage site of AlUla. Spread across an area four times the size of Disneyland, it will have a race track with a capacity of 3,000 people, a sand polo field & will accommodate 840 horses.

One cannot blame a visionary for expanding his visions beyond the fathomable realms of mere mortals. Case in point: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his newest project- a world-class equestrian village. The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) unveiled renderings of a larger-than-life equestrian village in the UNESCO heritage site that will enthrall horse lovers and tourists alike.

AlMuatadil Equestrian Village will spread across a 2.85 sq km area, with a main race track boasting a seating capacity of 3,000. The space will also feature an endurance race track, a grass court with 600 seats, and a sand polo field with 400 seats.

The design comprises low-lying units that blend with the natural surroundings of AlUla by using sand-colored earthen tones. The walls and internal partitions are constructed using traditional construction methods and local materials.

As the AlMuatadil Equestrian Village is meant for horse lovers and horses, it will boast two stable compounds, housing a total of 740 horses in addition to visitor facilities.

Luxurious accommodations and retail facilities will complete the experience for participants. “These premier facilities will make AlMuatadil a leading international platform for equestrian events, and will give access for riders to the Wadi Al Fann landscape art and sculpture area,” said the Royal Commission for AlUla.

“The site is blessed with stunning natural features, and our vision for the design has been to develop a memorable & inspiring Equestrian Village fully immersed in this unique landscape context,” said Erik Behrens, architect and creative director at AECOM.

“The Village design is inspired by the local vernacular architecture, with its narrow streets, courtyards, and plaza spaces. It is meant to provide all guests with an authentic experience of Alula’s DNA albeit in a more contemporary expression,” explained Behrens. “The Venues on the other hand blend into the sloping terrain with their stepped terrace seating echoing the cascading nature of the surrounding land.”

“Their thin horizontal roofs float across the stands to allow striking views through the lounge levels and lend the architectural composition its elegant lightness. Their roofs are gently undulating within their plain to make them better blend into the surrounding terrain and internalise its natural form,” added Behrens, per Zawya.

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