Maraya Concert Hall creates Guinness World Record


Saudi Gazette report

Located in the northwestern Saudi province of AlUla, Maraya Concert Hall has has set a Guinness World Record for largest mirrored building in the world.

"Maraya" means "mirrors" in Arabic, and the “mirrored wonder” got this name due to the giant mirrors attached to its structure which reflect AlUla's breathtaking landscape. This includes the Hegra region, which is the first historical site in the Kingdom to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

The cube-shaped structure is covered in 9,740 sq. meters of mirrors that reflect the breathtaking landscape around it.

The building and its extraordinary facade were unveiled at a special ceremony staged by the Royal Commission for AlUla during the second season of the Winter at Tantora festival. The 500-seat venue has since hosted leading international artists, including Egyptian musician Omar Khairat and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

“AlUla is a cultural heritage to the world, and this step comes in fulfillment of AlUla’s vision, to create a regional and global cultural center,” said commission chief executive Amr Al-Madani

“We have developed Maraya Concert Hall as a hub for world events, concerts, celebrations, gatherings, and business conventions.

The mirrored hall is a global platform where nature, culture, and human heritage coexist in harmony.“We are proud to celebrate the opening of Maraya Concert Hall, and we thank our partners, experts, engineers, and architects, who worked day and night to create this astounding monument in the heart of the marvelous desert environment of AlUla.”

Florian Boje of designers Gio Forma said: “This unique edifice makes us think about the unique landscape of the geological saga, the radical abstraction of the enchanting environment of AlUla, and the uncommon incursions for man in the natural landscape.

“The reflections give an overwhelming balance and a deep sense of the connection of human heritage with nature.”

Situated in Wadi Ashaar, near the volcanic freeway, the Maraya Concert Hall is highly equipped with the latest theatrical and operatic sound systems. The structure has captivated creatives, artists and architects since the Nabataean civilization and to the present day.

The development of the Maraya Concert Hall came within the framework of the cultural and heritage statement of AlUla, which was recently issued and published by the Royal Commission for AlUla, inviting global arts and business communities to join the Royal Commission in a new cultural chapter in the rich history of AlUla.

The cultural and heritage vision of AlUla states, "The artistic mission of AlUla is clear, and [it] will remain the destination for artists to draw their inspiration from a site that highlights the monuments of historical civilizations."

"What remains of great cultures is art and architecture. Successive civilizations have formed the cultural scene with their knowledge and experience, and AlUla will remain the artistic destination for artists to enhance a spirit of imagination and inspiration in their being, and the expression that constitutes the infrastructure of AlUla and its structures and daily life to enrich the encounters of the visitors."