The city of Al-Ula in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a historic city that considered as a supplier of natural and cultural heritage that allows the city to be a unique tourist destination that distinguished with a specific type of nature that attracts tourists to enjoy the natural desert mountainous landscape. However, Al-Ula city lacks accommodation and entertainment to encourage tourists to come according to MAS (Tourism Information and Research Center for the tourist investment in al-Ula city).

This design thesis will support the development of tourism by designing a sustainable tourism heritage village that matches the existing environment since the proposed design accommodate the 2030 vision of Saudi Arabia which is the plan to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, entertainment and tourism that includes the promotion of economic and investment activities. The importance of the project lies in the link between the urban heritage of the city culturally, economically, and emotionally with citizens and linking generations with their history to draw inspiration from the values represented by this heritage and share with tourists and interested in heritage.

The proposed sustainable tourism heritage village enhances sustainability within several aspects for major environmental benefits; also, it breaks down the climate barrier that prevents tourists to come. The first sustainable aspect is passive ventilation which is activated by cooling towers as the main source for cooling. In addition, the Vernacular Architecture with the use of adobe clay material will help to handle the hot weather. Vernacular Architecture includes also Mashrbiya1 that will be another factor that aids with passive ventilation. These aspects help to make the heat tolerable to visitors. Another function of Mashrabiya is allowing the daylighting to enter during the day which adds more sustainable benefits. Furthermore, water management systems are added to the project which rely on both ground and gray water.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Tourism--Environmental aspects--Saudi Arabia; Sustainable tourism--Saudi Arabia; Tourism--Social aspects--Saudi Arabia

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Nana Yaw Andoh

Advisor/Committee Member

Dennis Andrejko


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes