AlUla, home to Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula is set to welcome its first signature fine-dining restaurant. English Chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, who owns and runs three-Michelin-star restaurants across the world, opened Maraya Social on 27 October 2021.
The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the iconic-mirrored building with 360-degree views of stunning rock-strewn valleys and canyons of the Ashar Valley.
Jason Atherton said, “My team and I are so impressed by the natural beauty, history and culture of AlUla. I jumped at the chance to be one of the first permanent fine-dining venues in AlUla and be part of the exciting progress in the Kingdom. The beauty of the Ashar Valley, the native produce and the iconic Maraya architecture are all the ingredients we need for what is sure to be a sought-after destination dining experience.”
“AlUla has an amazing diversity of produce unique to the region and an incredible history and culture which I am excited to explore both in the landscape and in the menu,” said Chef Atherton.
Reflecting the architecture of Maraya and complementing the natural beautify of AlUla, the open-plan design puts comfort first featuring bespoke furniture and soft fabric materials including silk, cotton and rayon with colors that reflect its environment. The restaurant offers relaxing yet vibrant atmosphere during the day, and by nights, it will be low-lit to create an unforgettable dining experience under the bright stars.
The menu is sourced from seasonal fruits, vegetables and locally produced ingredients and features a selection of sharing plates, served with high-quality mocktails. The menu is designed to share and create a social environment for diners.
Maraya Social will be the newest addition to Jason’s portfolio of international restaurants and his first venture into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The restaurant will receive reservations through the website.
Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Offices, Royal Commission for AlUla also welcomes the new addition to AlUla’s dining scene.
“Maraya Social is set to be a destination restaurant for Middle East and the world. We are delighted for AlUla to be the home of Chef’s first restaurant in Saudi Arabia. AlUla presents a unique opportunity both in terms of the historical setting as well as the untapped pantry of produce and flavours.”
“With new international and home-grown food and beverage brands flocking to AlUla this winter, and an exciting calendar of events, the opening of the Maraya Social complements our strategic plans to boost AlUla’s tourism infrastructure and become a favorite boutique cultural destination for visitors from the Kingdom and beyond,” said Jones.