The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) board has given approval to a masterplan for the development of tourism projects in Saudi Arabia.
The master plan has been developed in partnership with WATG and Buro Happold.
The first phase, which is scheduled for completion in 2022, will include the development of 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels that will provide 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts.
It will also include the construction of yacht marinas, leisure and lifestyle amenities, an airport, and supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure.
The masterplan, which preserves 75% of the islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, has been redesigned several times to avoid potentially disrupting endangered species native to the area.
TRSDC CEO John Pagano said: “The design concepts that we have presented to the Board will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development, and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.
“With the master plan approved, we are now identifying investors and partners who are interested in working with us on realizing the objectives of the project and who share our commitment to enhance, not exploit, the natural ecosystems that make the destination so unique.”
The Red Sea Project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy. The project is expected to create 70,000 jobs and contribute SAR22bn ($5.3bn) to the nation’s GDP by creating investment opportunities for the private sector and developing the Kingdom’s tourism industry.
The destination will be completed in 2030.
The approved masterplan will enable the development of 22 of 90 islands at the destination, providing 10,000 hotel rooms across island resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways.
Luxury residential properties and a range of commercial, retail and recreational facilities will also be provided.
The masterplan includes extensive smart destination management system, which support a range of personalised products and services for the luxury traveller.
TRSDC has used the first destination-scale computer simulation techniques, created in Saudi Arabia, to assess the impact of development and future tourism on the environment.
As part of sustainability initiatives, a suite of sensors and monitoring devices will be deployed at the destination to track and measure variations in environmental factors such as water salinity, temperature, visibility and tidal flows.
The company is developing several policies, including zero waste-to-landfill, zero discharge to sea, and zero single-use plastics, and to achieve 100% carbon neutrality.
The destination will use renewable energy and will not be connected to the national grid.
Image: The Red Sea Project. Photo: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company.