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Marine Spatial Planning

In partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), we developed a ground-breaking marine spatial planning simulation – utilizing software specially developed in the Kingdom – to assess developmental impact and enhance biodiversity.

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By coordinating multiple uses of the marine environment – including energy and utilities, recreation, conservation, transportation and shipping, and aquaculture – interaction with vulnerable species and their habitats can be carefully managed.

KAUST brought together biologists, ecologists, oceanographers and modelers with our architects, engineers and planners, to analyze data and achieve net conservation benefits. The results led us to rethink and relocate a number of original ideas, reducing impact.

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The Concept Master Plan safeguards marine and coastal habitats, while supporting the sustainable development of luxury tourism, and aims to deliver a net positive conservation benefit of up to 30% within the next two decades, equivalent to designating the entire area as a Marine Protected Area.

Only 22 islands will be developed, leaving 75% untouched, nine of which will be protected as special conservation zones.