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Jean Nouvel Unveils Spectacular Design For Cave Hotel In Saudi Arabia's AlUla Desert

Top French architect and winner of the 2008 Pritzer Prize Jean Nouvel recently gave a glimpse into his plans for a super cave hotel in Saudi Arabia’s AIUIa desert.

The hotel named Shaaran by Jean Nouvel will be carved into the sandstone hills in the desert area, 220-miles north of the city of Medina and contains the Madâin Sâlih UNESCO World Heritage site. Describing the features of the hotel and choice of location, Nouvel said the idea was informed by the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site where the remains of a Nabataean city can be found.

The Nabataean people once occupied the region and carved cities, including Petra in Jordan, into the area's sandstone rock.


The hotel will have a circular entrance courtyard that will be carved into the sandstone hillside and will contain 40-rooms carved into the sandstone cliff. It will also have three resort villas that will be cut into a cliff face. Each suite will have a balcony, thus allowing guests to enjoy the pleasant view of the surrounding landscape. They will also have sandstone walls that are aimed at creating a direct connection with the former Nabataean city.


Nouvel stated, "Our project is celebrating the Nabateans spirit without caricaturing it. This creation genuinely becomes a cultural act."

The development of the resort forms part of The Royal Commission for AlUla's plan to encourage global tourism in the area. Nouvel hopes that the modern hotel will celebrate the area's legacy.

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