King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG)

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Saudi Arabia - Riyadh

Institution Code:

International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: No

About the King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG)

King Abdullah International Gardens is a major new Botanical Garden scheme that is being developed on the outskirts of the capital city of Riyadh in central Saudi Arabia. The scheme is proposed to occupy a site of 220 hectares (480 acres) and will form a cornerstone of the Green Riyadh strategy which is itself an element of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, whose objectives include significant improvements to the health and well being of citizens.

The KAIG masterplan presents an opportunity for visitors to enjoy all of the educational and leisure advantages of a botanical garden whilst also offering a truly unique experience in the form of the central Paleobotanic collections, a sequence of climate-controlled gardens on a scale previously unseen, to explore and explain all of the pre-existing ecotopes that were once capable of existing on this precise place, from the primitive mosses of the Devonian period some 400 million years ago to the explosion of the age of flowering plants during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic periods and the more recent Pliocene. Each of the great paleobotanic eras is represented in a sequence of great interior gardens, protected from the harsh summer heat and the winter frosts that occur from time to time in the region. Visitors can experience the history of the evolution of plants on a journey through the gardens. This sequence is brought together in a 24 acre Crescent building that occupies the heart of the site, culminating with the Garden of Choices, a glimpse into the future where the relevance of plants and botany is explored in scientific terms to help visitors to better understand the context of the Climate Emergency that now threatens the stability of the planet

In this way, KAIG aims to contribute to the scientific debate and to serve as an educational device whilst also providing an exciting and fulfilling leisure resource that is much needed in a growing city. The broader attractions of
the scheme include water gardens, walled gardens, watchtowers, art installations, picnic sites and walkways that are segregated from traffic and parking areas. Electric buggies will be available to visitors and a clear signing, lighting and information systems provided within the broader Native planting proposals that will frame the site.

The KAIG Initiative will join a network of botanical gardens and scientific institutions that are increasingly important in conveying the value of the natural world to mankind at this critical time. The scheme will serve as a unique educational device, a centre of knowledge and a platform for a better understanding of our world.


Summary of key facts:
• Client: Municipality of Riyadh
• Designer: Situ Plan Ltd (formerly BWI) and Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
• Contributors: Eden Project and Natural History Museum
• Location: South-western perimeter of Riyadh, Capital of Saudi Arabia
• Site area: 220 hectares
• Theme: Native Botanical Garden including central Paleobotanic collections within the Crescent building
• The Crescent building comprises a 100,000 m2 complex including the following:
- Visitor Reception, retail and Food & Beverage facilities
- An Auditorium, VIP Reception facility and conference halls
- Administrative offices, educational space and related functions
- 1 large Friday mosque and 2 smaller mosques
- A Family Garden incorporating retail units and play equipment
- The Paleobotanic science gardens, displaying collections from the Devonian, Carboniferous, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Cenozoic and Pliocene periods
- The Forest Garden, a large scale representation of tropical Rainforest
- The Garden of Choices, a garden displaying relevant scientific initiatives following botanical themes relating to the climate change response
- The Wadi Garden (enclosed by the crescent building), a garden celebrating the botany of the region
• Further gardens throughout the site including the following, generally presented as walled gardens with an educational theme:
- The Water Gardens (a celebration iof the relevance of water to the region, coupled with a play experience)
- The Discovery Garden (a garden dedicated to evolution in the animal world)
- The Butterfly Garden (a combination of external Native and internal Exotic butterfly exhibits)
- The Maze Garden (a garden of exploration and discovery)
- The Physic Garden (a shaded garden displaying plants related to medicine)
• Public transport provision through a new Metro station to connect to the broader transport network
• An on-site electrically powered Land Train and electric buggy service for visitors
• Parking for 5000 vehicles including bus and coach drop-off points
• A site Nursery complex of 14,000 m2 including acclimatisation for specimen material, service and storage facilities and a visitor reception area
• A site Administration complex to include all site-wide management and maintenance requirements
• A Sewage Treatment/Reverse Osmosis plant to recycle grey water for irrigation purposes
• Extensive walkways, picnic and seating areas throughout the site
• A Wadi edge walk including watchtowers overlooking the broader wadi setting to the south of the site
• Project timescale: Currently under construction and due for completion in September 2022 with a view to opening to the public in 2023
• Project budget: $500 million

Main Address:
King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG)
Jeddah Road
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

Telephone:
Fax:
URL: https://www.kaig.net/
Primary Email: nick.sweet@situplan.com

Staff Details

  • Director's Name:
    Curator's Name:
    Plant Records Officer's Name:

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: Yes
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 2023
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 100 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 50 Hectares
  • Total Area: 220 Hectares
    Latitude: 24.536535
    Longitude: 46.459969
    Altitude: 865.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 85000 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 25000 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: N/A
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: King Abdullah International Gardens
  • Local Address: Jeddah Road
  • Locality: City: Riydah
  • Locality: State:

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 40
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 3000000

Plant Collections

  • Cultivation Taxa Num: 1350
  • Special Collections:The centrepiece of the scheme is the Crescent biome building, containing the central Paleobotanic collections, a sequence of climate-controlled gardens on a scale previously unseen, to explore and explain all of the pre-existing ecotopes that were once capable of existing on this precise place, from the primitive mosses of the Devonian period some 400 million years ago to the explosion of the age of flowering plants during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic periods and the more recent Pliocene. Each of the great paleobotanic eras is represented in a sequence of great interior gardens, protected from the harsh summer heat and the winter frosts that occur from time to time in the region. Visitors can experience the history of the evolution of plants on a journey through the gardens. This sequence is brought together in a 24 acre Crescent building that occupies the heart of the site, culminating with the Garden of Choices, a glimpse into the future where the relevance of plants and botany is explored in scientific terms to help visitors to better understand the context of the Climate Emergency that now threatens the stability of the planet
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: No
    ABS Policy: No
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: No
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: No
    Conservation - Genetics: No
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: Yes
    Exploration: No
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: Yes
    Land Restoration: Yes
    Urban Environments: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes