Saudi Crown Prince hires CEO for giant Riyadh tourism project

Saudi Arabia has hired a “tourism visionary” to spearhead its plan to develop a number of major new historical and tourism assets.

Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of the Saudi Arabia and chairman of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) has named Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo as CEO of the authority.


Inzerillo will oversee the restoration of Diriyah and the development of new museums, academic institutions and “edutainment” facilities, as well as resorts, restaurants, wellness facilities and high-end retail in a 7.1 million square metre development on the west side of Riyadh.

Inzerillo was previously CEO of Forbes Travel Guide and has been at the helm of some of the world’s leading hospitality companies, including Kerzner International Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels, Sun City Resort, where he coordinated major aspects of the 1994 inauguration of President Nelson Mandela, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

“I am deeply honoured to have the privilege to contribute to His Royal Highness’ dynamic vision for the nation,” said Inzerillo. “This is truly an inspired time in this extraordinary country. I am particularly grateful to lead a world-class team in the development of this historic site, which will give the world its truest window into the soul and spirit of this land, its welcoming people and their rich history.”

Diriyah, a UNESCO registered site, is the birthplace of the first, second, and current Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Much of the original site, built in adobe brick in the traditional architecture of the greater Najd region, will be authentically restored with new tourism attractions and facilities.

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The At-Turaif District in Diriyah has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and the Saudi Crown Prince envisions Diriyah as a place where “the past will be celebrated and the future awakened and where all who enter its gates will be inspired, engaged and entertained”.