AlUla, the world’s masterpiece that is home to Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula are set to welcome its first signature fine-dining restaurant.
English Chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, who owns and runs three Michelin starred restaurants across the world, will open Maraya Social on 27 October 2021.
The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the iconic mirrored building with 360 degrees of stunning rock-strewn valleys and canyons of the Ashar Valley.
Reflecting the architecture of Maraya and complementing the natural beautify of AlUla, the open-plan design puts comfort first featuring gorgeous furniture and soft fabric materials including silk, cotton, and rayon with colors that marry the place and reflects its nature. The restaurant offers a relaxing yet vibrant atmosphere during the day, and by night, it will be low-lit to create an intimate and relaxed environment, so guests enjoy dining under the stars.
Sourced from the finest seasonal fruits, vegetables, and locally produced ingredients, the menu features a selection of sharing plates, served with high-quality non-alcoholic drinks, and has been designed to create a social environment for its guests.
“Maraya Social is set to be a destination restaurant for the Middle East and the world. We are delighted for AlUla to be the home of Chef’s first restaurant in Saudi Arabia. No doubt the global hospitality community will sit up and take notice of the unique opportunity presented by AlUla both in terms of the historical setting as well as the untapped pantry of produce and flavors,” said Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Offices, Royal Commission for AlUla.
“With new international and home-grown food and beverage players flocking to AlUla, the opening of the Maraya Social complements our strategic plans to boost AlUla’s tourism infrastructure and become the region’s favorite boutique destination for guests from the Kingdom, the wider region and beyond,” said Jones.
Jason Atherton said, “My team and I were so impressed by the natural beauty and archaeological diversity of AlUla. I’m so grateful to be able to open Maraya Social in the heart of this UNESCO site and to be part of such an amazing design like Maraya. The beauty of AlUla, the desert view, and the stunning Maraya architecture, make the perfect place to offer a high-quality dining experience to Maraya’s guests.”
“AlUla has an amazing diversity of products unique to the region and an incredible culture, therefore it’s been great to discover all the local ingredients and create beautiful dishes to showcase them,” said Chef Atherton.
Maraya Social will be the latest addition to Jason’s incredible portfolio of international restaurants which include those in Shanghai, Dubai, New York, the Philippines, and Mykonos. Being Jason’s first venture into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he is very excited to be part of one of the most iconic openings in Saudi Arabia’s history. The restaurant will receive reservations through the website.
New restaurants and cafes are expected to be opened in AlUla in the upcoming months with options including regional and international cuisines, casual and high-end dining. AlUla is preparing for a busy visitors season and has recently launched its events calendar which can be found in this link.