Do you want to see a work of art that has also broken a world record? If so, Maraya will check both boxes.
Maraya is set in AlUla’s — one of the oldest cities in the Arabic peninsula — Ashar Valley desert canyon. It rises from the desert sane like a mirage and is uniquely designed to blend into the landscape.
Covered by 9,740 mirrored panels to reflect the area’s beauty, Maraya took Milan’s Giò Forma studio just 2.5 months to complete.
In an interview with ArchiExpo e-magazine, Alberto Bounous, the development director of the Royal Commission for AlUla, which commissioned the project, said that the goal was to “enhance the landscape” rather than compete with it. He added that Maraya was designed to “put AlUla on the global cultural map.”
Maraya is currently named in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest mirrored building in the world.
In Arabic, Maraya translates to “mirror” or “reflection,” so it’s safe to say that it is aptly named. The mirrors celebrate AlUla’s role throughout history, as the city has long served as a cultural crossroads.
Today, AlUla hosts a wide range of cultural events, from concerts and live performances to arthouse films and artist residency programs. Maraya itself is also a multi-purpose event venue. It has hosted all kinds of events, from a concert by Enrique Iglesias to business meetings and weddings.
Visitors to the area should certainly add a trip to Maraya to their itinerary. However, there are plenty of other things to do while there, including paying a visit to the restaurant Maraya Social.
Maraya Social is a passion project of Chef Jason Atherton and features a wide range of Mediterranean, Arabic, and British dishes made with local produce. Delicious, quality mocktails are featured on the menu as well.
Those who want to plan and book a trip to Maraya can do so through this link.