RIYADH: The first AlUla Future Culture Summit will begin on Feb. 25, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The two-day event will bring together around 150 global leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and artists to deliberate on critical issues within the cultural sector. They will also identify strategies to leverage culture as a catalyst for societal progress and future transformation.

Organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the summit will feature discussion panels, workshops and interactive displays. It will be focused around three sessions — Rich Foundation, Creative Ground and Harvesting Impact.

Speakers are set to include Saudi Assistant Culture Minister Rakan Al-Tawq, German curator Klaus Biesenbach, American architect Ronald Rael, Centre Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon and French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud.

Indian artistic director Bose Krishnamachari, Japanese artistic director Akiko Miki, American theater director Robert Wilson, Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, Saudi actress Fatima Al-Banawi and Saudi artist Ayman Zedani will also speak at the event.

Nora Aldabal, the RCU’s director for arts and creative planning, said the summit’s inaugural session underscored the commission’s “dedication to cultural preservation and the advancement of arts and culture as engines of community development.”

She added that culture served as a “cohesive force, inspiring solutions to global challenges and fostering social advancement through shared knowledge and understanding” and that the summit aimed to assemble thought leaders from around the world to enrich cultural conversations and broaden perspectives.

Al-Ula, a crossroads of ancient civilizations, would serve as the perfect backdrop for a summit founded on such rich traditions, she said.

The summit will also offer participants a chance to experience Al-Ula’s natural and cultural landscape, highlighted by performances from Saudi artist Balqis Al-Rashed, innovative Spanish theater group La Fura dels Baus, and acclaimed Nigerian-British poet and writer Inua Ellams.

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