Saudi Arabia joins forces with France on sustainable development of AlUla

    A program designed especially for AlUla

    From the end of August 2019 to February 2020, 24 young Saudi Arabian men and women from the region of AlUla will have the opportunity to participate in intensive high-level cooking training at FERRANDI Paris. This program will prepare these young people for future professional employment and equip them with the tools to become the next generation of chefs and culinary entrepreneurs in AlUla, and the custodians of AlUla’s culinary heritage. This program has been specifically designed with a view to developing the culinary skills AlUla needs to meet the objectives set forth in Vision 2030 by the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia. 

    For five months, participants will follow an immersive and accelerated curriculum of training in the most advanced cooking techniques, and will be part of the teams that will assist the starred chefs during the second edition of the Winter at Tantora festival. Through this learning, they will develop the skills to create recipes and cuisine that will typify AlUla and deliver the high quality hospitality experiences from which AlUla the destination will make its name amongst tourists. In line with FERRANDI Paris’ hands-on teaching philosophy, the majority of course time will be spent practicing skills and producing recipes, in groups limited to 12 participants.  The program will be intensive and will include on average 35 course hours per week, over half of that time spent in the teaching kitchen or lab learning the gestures, techniques and secrets of French gastronomy. Classroom sessions focus on technical knowledge and understanding essential processes and techniques. Instructor feedback and guidance aims to help each individual progress within the group and to foster a team-oriented mindset.


    Insight on French food culture and gastronomy through chef demonstrations, professional excursions and meetings with artisan and industrial food and equipment producers will also be included.  A team of dedicated chef-instructors will deliver the programs. They have in common extensive industry experience in France and abroad, high-level culinary skills and an enthusiasm for their role as professors and mentors of the future generation of French-trained, international chefs.

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    Behind the program

    In 2018, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and France signed a long-term project to protect, develop and promote AlUla’s historical and cultural sites. AlUla is home to the Nabataean city of Hegra, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. It sets out an historic cooperation between the two nations which aims to make the AlUla region a world-class destination, appreciated by visitors from around the globe.

    The region is being developed by the Royal Commission for AlUla, to become the landmark cultural destination for the country and welcome visitors from around the world. Its ambition is to attract Saudi and international visitors to enjoy its unique mix of heritage wonders, stunning natural landscapes and creative arts – international initiatives that cover music, art, and architecture. 

    In this context, the prestigious French culinary institute, FERRANDI Paris has joined forces with the French Agency For AlUla Development (AFALULA) and the Royal Commission for AlUla to offer the people of AlUla a unique training program in gastronomy to prepare the regions’ future chefs and culinary entrepreneurs. These young people will also be an important part of the teams delivering a high quality hospitality experience to guests at the Saudi national cultural festival Winter at Tantora 2019.