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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 9 March 2021

Saudi Arabia's mirrored wonder to host GCC summit

Set in the kingdom’s Al Ula heritage site, Maraya Hall holds Guinness world record for largest mirrored structure

Saudi Arabia will host the Gulf Co-operation Council summit in Al Ula's Maraya Concert Hall – the world's biggest mirrored structure.

The 41st GCC summit will take place on Tuesday.

Saudi, Emirati, Kuwaiti, Omani and Bahraini leaders are expected to discuss regional security and trade co-operation – as well as reconciliation with neighbouring Qatar, which will also be in attendance.

Set in the kingdom’s Al Ula heritage site, the cubic mirrored building reflects the surrounding desert.

It is a magnificent sight during the day and more so on starry nights.

The 500-seat hall broke the Guinness world record for largest mirrored structure last year and has hosted events such as the 2019 Winter at Tantora festival.

Guardian Glass, the US-based company that made the hall’s mirror cladding, said the structure aims to “capture the essence and mystery of Al Ula valley”.

Al Ula’s Al Hijr archaeological site was named a Unesco heritage site in 2008 making it Saudi Arabia’s first World Heritage property.

“Al Hijr bears a unique testimony to the Nabataean civilisation,” the Unesco website says.

“With its 111 monumental tombs, 94 of which are decorated, and water wells, the site is an outstanding example of the Nabataeans’ architectural accomplishment and hydraulic expertise.”

Updated: January 3, 2021 04:58 PM

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