A 1.5-hour drive from Riyadh, the site of the annual Camel Racing Festival is located in the Saudi Arabian desert. To develop a destination that goes beyond the festival as such, the team at dan pearlman experience architecture together with Gerber Architekten created a heterogenous mixed-use concept including an all-year-round programming. Moreover, the destination is meant to attract citizens of Riyadh and an international audience a like. The creative idea of the holistic concept draws on the meaning of an oasis as the traditional and central place of Arabian culture. With the master plan, the traditional place is turned into a 21st century oasis realm. In a first construction phase, the centre of the JAMAL OASIS is planned to be created. It’s located on the existing festival plaza and will provide an exciting place close to the racetrack as well as additional activities. Here, the Camel Experience Museum, an indoor sports hall, an amphitheatre, the Vision Dune and many more will make for an attractive entertainment and leisure offer. At the Camel Experience Museum, you can learn about scientific facts and experience artistic interpretations of the cultural heritage of the camels. The indoor sports hall offers popular activities like bouldering or go cart racing. Breath-taking shows like in one thousand and one nights are awaiting the visitors in the amphitheatre. And the Vision Dune attracts everyone curious about technologies like future energy solutions or the climate lab. In a second construction phase, the build-up of the Medina Trail is planned. The medina will draw through the centre’s long axis and extend beyond that core area. Just like a traditional Arabian market, it will offer everything from oriental delicacies to non-food goods. An absolute highlight: The medina is set up like a real marketplace that develops naturally – it can extend and decrease depending on the planned programming. In addition, the Medina Trail is framed by eight oases that reflect the specific cultural worlds of India, Egypt, Australia, Syria, Mongolia, Yemen and Iraq. Each of these themed worlds awaits the visitors with a seasonally adaptable programme which can be planned daily, weekly or monthly. Moreover, the oases offer accommodations so that visitors can not only take a deep dive into the cultures but also extend their stay as long as they wish. Due to the special location of the planned resort in the middle of the Arabian desert, ample factors have been taken into account for creating the master plan. The concept includes several dunes around the JAMAL OASIS that will cool down the hot desert air and create a micro-climate for the resort area. These artificial dunes are constructed in-situ, in line with the cut and fill principle and are maintained with a constant engineering process. In-situ created dunes, an automatic waste collection system, e-powered autonomous shuttles and an aerial lift cabin car are but some of the means to sustainably operate the resort.
Visuals ©Gerber Architekten