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Red Sea Global Reveals Major Progress on The Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia

Red Sea Global unveils incredible progress on The Red Sea Project on Saudi Arabia’s beautiful Red Sea coast. Six Senses Southern and the St Regis Red Sea Resort are already open, with Nujuma, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve due to open its doors to the public shortly.

All 38 stainless steel overwater villas and 35 beach villas have already been installed on the beautiful Shebara resort. The new Red Sea International Airport has already served 11,500 passengers, with the main terminal expected to be completed in 2025.

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The Red Sea Project: An Overview

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The Red Sea Project, designed and managed by Red Sea Global, is a regenerative tourism initiative to showcase Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural and natural heritage. By the close of 2023, Red Sea Global established 21 subsidiaries, cementing its position as a key player in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.

Milestones Achieved in 2023

Establishment of 21 Subsidiaries

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Red Sea Global successfully established 21 subsidiaries by the end of 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing organizations in the Kingdom and advancing the realization of Vision 2030.

The Red Sea Destination Welcomes Its First Guests

2023 marked a significant milestone for the Red Sea Project as it welcomed its first visitors. Six Senses Southern Dunes and the St. Regis Red Sea Resort opened their doors in 2023. This momentous occasion signaled a turning point for Red Sea Global and the Kingdom’s tourism sector.

The Six Senses Southern Dunes

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The Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, is officially the first hotel to open in the Red Sea Giga Project. 

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This resort offers 36 guest rooms and 40 pool villas against the majestic Arabian desert and Hijaz Mountains. The British architectural firm Foster + Partners, renowned for their eco-friendly designs, has used locally sourced materials to construct these structures. 

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The resort combines visionary tourism with sustainability and heritage, promising its guests an exciting and environmentally friendly experience. 

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It also features The Earth Lab, which offers engaging workshops that breathe life into conservation. In line with the Eat With Six Senses ethos, the resort’s culinary offerings focus on health and well-being while celebrating the regional flavors. 

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The resort offers a variety of activities designed to satiate even the most adventurous souls. Wellness enthusiasts can enjoy meditation and yoga sessions in the serene desert or a lush oasis, offering a unique and immersive way to connect with nature.

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort

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The St. Regis Red Sea Resort has officially opened its doors to the public, marking the beginning of a new era of luxury travel in Saudi Arabia.

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Nestled on the pristine Ummahat Island, the resort provides a secluded paradise where the azure waters of the Red Sea meet pristine white sandy beaches. 

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The resort offers 90 spacious overwater and beachfront villas with private pools and luxurious amenities. The architectural design of the St. Regis Red Sea Resort, conceived by Kengo Kuma and Kristina Zanic Consultants, beautifully mirrors the surrounding natural landscape. 

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It draws inspiration from the coral reefs, marine life, and dunes, integrating organic forms with soft curves and spiral shapes into the interior spaces and furnishings.

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The Resort also offers 90 spacious overwater and beachfront villas with private pools and a range of luxurious amenities, including a signature spa and five unique restaurants.

Unveiling of Thuwal Private Retreat

In 2023, Red Sea Global expanded its portfolio by introducing the Thuwal Private Retreat. This addition further diversifies the experiences offered along the Red Sea coastline.

Thuwal Private Retreat

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Red Sea Global’s latest venture is Thuwal Private Retreat, a new luxury private island on a pristine 1.7-hectare sandy islet exclusively operated by Red Sea Global. Set to open in early 2024, this private retreat promises an island sanctuary that reconnects guests with nature, their loved ones, and themselves.

An Island Sanctuary of Luxury

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The resort features a spacious three-bedroom main villa, three one-bedroom suites, a beach club, a gym, and a wellness center. It’s available for a complete buy-out, offering personalized luxury experiences that cater to the rising demand for ultra-private and hyper-customized experiences.

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Set to redefine luxury tourism, Thuwal Private Retreat aims to provide a haven for guests to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and enjoy a rich, personalized experience. 

John Pagano, Red Sea Global’s group CEO, said: “Our resorts are representative of positive change, supporting local communities, preserving cultural heritage, and contributing to the conservation and enhancement of the environment. We are truly excited by our accomplishments to date and are confident that our goals for 2024 and beyond will continue to push boundaries and shape the future of regenerative tourism” 

Sustainable Tourism and Regenerative Development

Red Sea Global Group CEO John Pagano emphasized RSG’s commitment to responsible tourism and sustainable development. The group’s resorts are designed to support local communities, preserve cultural heritage, and contribute to environmental conservation and enhancement.

The Coral Commitment

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In line with its sustainability initiatives, Red Sea Global announced its “Coral Commitment” in 2023, pledging to protect and regenerate corals in the Red Sea and beyond. 

The company also revealed the brand for its marine life institute at Amaala named Corallium, and announced the successful completion of phase one of its Coral Gardening Pilot Project.

Mangrove Nurseries and Wetlands

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RSG successfully started operations at its first mangrove nursery, with one million seedlings planted. The company has set an ambitious goal to plant 50 million mangrove trees by 2030. 

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Additionally, RSG has developed over 20 acres of new wetlands through its sustainable approach to utilities, creating new habitats that allow biodiversity to thrive.

Solar Energy Initiatives

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RSG installed over 760,000 photovoltaic panels across five solar farms, powering phase one of The Red Sea solely by sunlight and making the destination completely off-grid.

ACWA Power’s Red Sea Project

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Saudi’s ACWA Power, fueled by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s ambitious vision, is racing towards a renewable future, aiming to provide half of the nation’s electricity from wind and solar by 2030. 

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In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, ACWA Power contributes to sustainable tourism. The company has partnered with Red Sea Global (RSG) to power The Red Sea Project, the world’s largest tourism destination powered solely by renewable energy. 

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The site is situated along the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia, between Umluj and Al Wajh. The project is set to be executed under the “Build, Own, Operate, Transfer” framework. ACWA Power will assume the primary role in the project’s construction, engineering, operations, and maintenance. 

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The facilities will generate power from renewable sources, treat water, manage wastewater, offer district cooling services, and handle municipal solid waste without resorting to landfills on the premises. 

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Additionally, ACWA Power partnered with Red Sea Global to create over 20 acres of new wetlands per Saudi Arabia’s climate action plans. 

Progress in 2024 and Beyond

John Pagano, RSG’s group CEO, said:  “Our mission to develop new destinations as beacons of responsible tourism, showcasing the best in sustainable and regenerative development, gains unprecedented urgency as our planet continues to face challenges in relation to the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.”

Anticipated Openings in 2024

Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

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Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is now preparing to welcome its first guests. Nujuma, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, positioned within the Blue Hole cluster of islands in the Red Sea, is highly anticipated as one of the upcoming openings.

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The inaugural Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the area is meticulously designed to harmonize with the natural surroundings, boasting 63 water and beach villas ranging from one to four bedrooms. 

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The resort is envisioned to offer a variety of amenities and services, including a spa, swimming pools, multiple dining options, a retail area, and diverse leisure and entertainment options, such as a Conservation Center.

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Emphasizing underwater exploration, the property will host a dedicated diving center, providing a range of experiences from deep-sea heritage diving excursions to snorkeling adventures around the island’s outer reef.

Development of Shebara Resort

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All 38 stainless steel overwater villas and 35 beach villas have now been installed at the Shebara resort, adding to the destination’s unique appeal.

Opening in the summer of 2024, the resort will feature 73 keys, including overwater and beach villas, where guests can arrive by a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland or a 20-minute ride by seaplane.

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The Shebara resort is situated on Sheybarah Island in the bustling Al Wajh Lagoon. The island is notable for its breathtaking 30 to 40-meter reef drop-off near the beach, making it a prime spot for exploring marine life. 

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The resort is accessible via a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland or a quicker 20-minute journey by seaplane.

Red Sea International Airport

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Red Sea International Airport started receiving domestic flights in September 2023, serving more than 11,500 passengers. The completion of the main terminal is expected in 2025, further enhancing the airport’s capacity.

Strategically positioned 15 kilometers from the Red Sea coast, the airport is at the heart of numerous tourist attractions. The airport’s location is a calculated move, with construction commencing in 2021, it’s poised to become the gateway to the highly anticipated Red Sea Project.

Image Credit Foster + Partners

Contrary to the usual steel and glass structures, the airport’s design is inspired by the natural beauty of the Saudi Arabian desert. The architects at Foster + Partners have skillfully mirrored the desert’s unique hues and textures, creating an airport layout that echoes the surrounding dunes. 

The result? It is an awe-inspiring space featuring five pod-like structures surrounding a central drop-off and pick-up point, promising passengers a tranquil and luxurious experience.

An Architectural Wonder

Image Credit Foster + Partners

The Red Sea International Airport is not just another architectural feat, it reflects the desert’s natural allure. With its curved structures designed to mimic the desert’s dunes, the airport seamlessly blends architecture and nature, offering a visually stimulating experience for travelers.

The Red Sea International Airport is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s commitment to transforming its tourism landscape and a promising glimpse into the country’s vibrant future. 

This ambitious undertaking is all set to welcome travelers from around the globe, offering them a unique experience of Saudi Arabia’s natural beauty and architectural prowess.

The Launch of Fly Red Sea

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Fly Red Sea, Saudi Arabia’s new groundbreaking seaplane service, launched its inaugural on October 11, 2023; four eco-friendly Cessna seaplanes power the service,  all run on sustainable aviation fuel. 

This innovation is part of a broader vision to redefine the exploration of the stunning Red Sea Islands, blending luxury and sustainability. 

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Fly Red Sea stands as the inaugural seaplane enterprise in the Kingdom, established to transport visitors across the waters of the Red Sea to various resorts, including St. Regis Red Sea Resort and Ritz Carlton’s Reserve, Nujuma.

Fly Red Sea stands at the forefront of tourism transportation, offering a novel, environmentally friendly alternative for those seeking luxury and comfort with minimal environmental impact. The service started with a fleet of four Cessna Caravan 208 seaplanes, each furnished with bespoke luxury interiors.

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The seaplanes can comfortably accommodate up to six passengers, including their luggage, for transfers to water-based resorts. Alternatively, these planes can seat up to nine guests for panoramic tours across the breathtaking Red Sea destination.

Future Expansion Plans

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In response to the growing tourism industry in Saudi Arabia, Fly Red Sea plans to expand its fleet to nine seaplanes by 2028 and over 20 by 2030. This expansion aligns with the development phases of the Red Sea destination.

Future Developments of Red Sea Global

Looking ahead to 2025, 11 luxury hotels are set to be completed on Shura Island, and the Triple Bay at Amaala is expected to welcome its first guests as the first eight hotels open their doors.

Reshaping the Kingdom’s tourism industry.

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Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, spearheaded by Red Sea Global, is a testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to sustainable and regenerative development. As the project grows and expands, it promises to reshape the Kingdom’s tourism industry and establish Saudi Arabia as a global destination.

Keep Reading: Red Sea Global: Your Ultimate Guide To Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project

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