Alain Ducasse hosts pop-up at AlUla

AlUla has partnered with multi-Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse to open a pop-up dining experience.

The collaboration marks the highly anticipated launch of Ducasse in AlUla, located adjacent to the ancient heritage site of Jabal Ikmah. The new venture seamlessly blends sustainability with the flavours of Saudi Arabia, France, as well as the whole Middle Eastern region. Ducasse has entrusted one of his young protégés, Afonso Salvação Barreto, as executive chef.

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of AlUla’s iconic oasis palm trees, the restaurant delivers a combination of local ingredients sourced from nearby farms and traditional flavours, with an exquisite French touch, redefining the luxury dining landscape of the city.

“When I visited AlUla with my chef Afonso, we were curious to discover and impressed to taste produce from the local farms,” explains Ducasse. “You have these natural oases growing everything from the dates and citrus the area is famous for, to green vegetables of all sorts. The region is in the middle of an ambitious project to diversify the economy and create opportunities for the local community. The agricultural training scheme is offering help to local farmers to supply the ingredients of the quality and scale required for the increasing hospitality offer.”

Renowned for his exceptional prowess in the global culinary realm, the French culinary icon’s menu for Ducasse in AlUla highlights the vibrant palette of flavours unique to the region. Each dish promises to be a celebration of the region’s cultural heritage, with an emphasis on integrating local ingredients and cooking methods into the finest French culinary traditions and savoir-faire.

In alignment with AlUla’s commitment to sustainable development and preservation of its natural beauty, Ducasse in AlUla has been thoughtfully designed by French designer Aliénor Béchu and Donald Bovy from Volume ABC to seamlessly harmonise with the surrounding environment. The restaurant’s architectural integration with the natural landscape reflects a deep respect for the region’s allure and natural heritage, providing diners with an unparalleled dining experience that bridges history and innovation.

“Representing a significant leap forward in AlUla’s evolution as a premier culinary destination, Ducasse in AlUla is meticulously designed to captivate both residents and visitors alike,” comments Phillip Jones, Chief Tourism Officer for the Royal Commission for AlUla. “We have crafted the restaurant to not only introduce an unparalleled, refined dining experience to the city but also honour and incorporate AlUla’s precious natural resources that have long nourished ancient civilisations and modern residents.”