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Meeting the Challenges – Creating a Smart Destination

By Alexandre Michael, User Interface Senior Manager at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)



Embedding technology at The Red Sea Project is an exciting task filled with underestimated challenges. The brief requires more than making the destinations’ resorts feel seamless and personalized, a trend we are seeing more of within hospitality. Our complex challenge is to bring different technologies together to provide this seamless and ultra-personalized experience across our vast development area.

We have 28,000 square kilometers, an area the size of Belgium, across which we need to create a synchronous network, with islands, deserts, volcanoes and canyons all presenting unique landscape hurdles that we must overcome. The commitment to creating a joined-up experience for our guests that, most importantly, protects these pristine vistas is what drives our desire to find solutions. 

The Red Sea Project will be a smart destination underpinned by dozens of interconnected smart services, integrated through a Smart Destination Platform. This will be harmonized with the ICT infrastructure, secured through technology regulation and operated from our Destination Control Center. The majority of our 52 smart services are focused on three pillars: enabling a thriving community, pushing the boundaries of sustainability, and enhancing the pristine archipelago. 

Part of our environmental enhancement aim will be achieved by deploying around 2,500 Internet of Things (IoT) sensors throughout the coral reefs, lagoons, and turtle nesting sites. These will measure our progress as we move towards achieving our goal of a 30 percent net enhancement of our environmental conservation value by 2040. In addition, we will embed a smart irrigation system and sensor networks at one of the largest plant nurseries in the Middle East located at our site to save 30 percent of water resources from freshwater production. 

More broadly, innovation and smart services will ensure the best living conditions for our residents, living in the Coastal Village – a purpose built new town for 14,000 employees who will eventually operate the destination. It will provide personalized visitor experiences, frictionless end-to-end customer experiences, seamless exploration of The Red Sea’s treasures, state-of-the-art exclusive technology infrastructure and empower intelligent management systems with The Red Sea. 

It is clearly a vast and ambitious challenge that we have set ourselves. But TRSDC is committed to setting new standards in regenerative practices across the Project’s streams, down to the smallest detail. We aspire to create an example of best practice in urban and suburban developments, not just here in Saudi Arabia but for the rest of the world. To do so, we are adopting a collaborative approach with leading local and global partners, and other developments worldwide, to share what works and what could be done better so that we move the dial on our knowledge in this sector as a collective. We will continue to challenge ourselves to find uncompromising solutions, as a key part of our extraordinary vision and values.