Saudi’s Red Sea project approved

The Board of Directors of the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has approved the master plan for Saudi’s ambitious Red Sea project.

The master plan was developed in partnership with WATG and Buro Happold. It included design concepts from prominent architecture firms.

The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2022. It includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts. It will also feature yacht marinas, leisure and lifestyle amenities as well as an airport.

The plan was devised with ecological factors in mind. The final master plan preserves around 75% of the destination’s islands for conservation. It also designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value. Technology will help the sustainability initiatives – with monitors and sensors tracking variations in the environment.

John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, 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 realising 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 destination is set to be fully complete in 2030 – and will create up to 70,000 jobs. The master plan will support personalised products and services, with a focus on luxury. There will be a smart destination management system that will manage visitor flow.

Pagano said: “The leadership of the Kingdom has shown great foresight in its insistence on balanced development of this pristine destination. Our plan not only envisions a stunning luxury destination, it also takes tangible, measurable steps to enhance that destination for future generations to enjoy and cherish.”


There are 4  “giga projects” currently under construction in Saudi: QiddiyaAl-Ula, Neom and the Red Sea Project. In September the Public Investment Fund announced a new uber-luxury resort called Amaala.

Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with the projects, despite recent controversies involving the Kingdom.

These investments, it is hoped, will support the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and tourism industry.

International tourism in Saudi Arabia is forecast to grow by 5.8% per year from 2018 to 2022, according to a report from BMI Research.

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