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A Five-year Narrative of an Exquisite Destination that Appeals to your Senses

By Mona Saud Siraj, Associate Public Relations Director at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)



On the banks of the Red Sea at 5:00 AM, everyone—and I mean everyone—is eagerly anticipating the early morning breeze, that wafts around the coast. At that moment, we will see the clear sky reflected in the water.

Five years after its initial announcement, The Red Sea Project is marking its fifth anniversary, driven by passion, dedication, and desire. Here, we recount the tale of how we developed a location that appeals to your senses, future visitor.

We start our day filled with passion and enthusiasm to work on the development of your future destination. For me, my day started in the corridors of Turtle Bay Hotel – the hotel dedicated to our people and partners.

At 6:00 AM, we fuel up for the day with a delicious breakfast prepared by top Saudi and international chefs. It's nice to be surrounded by friendly co-workers who care about your wellbeing and hope you have a wonderful day. Lunch or dinner with you again would be a pleasure. 

Being surrounded by the significant progress happening daily at the construction sites of the Red Sea destination and AMAALA, you are urged to work tirelessly to play your role as a member of a team that develops ambitious tourism destinations; giga-projects that will position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. I am confident that the world will stand impressed by our beaches, vast deserts, and unique resorts when they arrive.

The Red Sea destination has the largest landscape nursery in the Middle East. More than 25 million plants will be provided for the two destinations. You will be astonished by the number of plants currently being cultivated by a team of our young Saudis. All these plants will later be used to adorn the pathways and vistas of the picturesque resorts.

As you move around the Red Sea destination, you will be surprised by the ecological diversity of the wildlife that is endemic to the area, offering you an unprecedented experience with nature. The mangrove forests of the Red Sea destination have a share of the adventure that awaits guests with rare birds, while the Red Sea archipelago, which contains more than 90 pristine islands, will allow guests to enjoy the calming sounds of waves and clear blue waters.

The Red Sea destination, the world's most ambitious regenerative tourism project, will be opening its doors for phase one in 2023 and will include 16 major resorts.

Let's start with the "Ummahat" Islands. Construction is on track and will include inland and over-water villas, in addition to two major resorts. The design of the inland villas is inspired by the undulating sand dunes, while the over-water villas are designed in a spiral shape that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding sea. Guests are guaranteed exceptional experiences, whichever they choose.

In our tour of another of our islands, "Sheybarah" which is set to open in 2023, you’ll find more over-water villas with unique designs inspired by the natural environment. The villas will be made of highly polished steel that will reflect the water and sky and features a coral reef extending over 30 to 40 meters near the shore, making it the ultimate diving site.

Our ambitious project also has two inland resorts. The first is "Southern Dunes", consisting of 40 villas, a group of restaurants, hotel buildings in the center of the resort, a swimming pool, a spa, and 36 hotel rooms. The second is "Desert Rock", designed to preserve and enhance the environment, allowing guests to connect with the nature and local culture of the region. Featuring 50 villas and 10 hotel rooms, guests will enter the resort through a hidden valley nestled between the mountains.

We arrive now at "Shura" Island, where we recently installed the final section of the main bridge connecting the island to the western coast of Saudi Arabia. It is home to the world's fourth largest barrier reef system, featuring untouched coral reefs and an incredible number of endangered species. The island features 11 hotels with designs that are sure to give guests a luxury tourist experience like no other place on earth.

Finally, we present the results of the most extensive study of its kind on the environment and marine life of the Red Sea coast. The results of the year-long study were spectacular, predicting enriching experiences for our guests by enjoying the unparalleled diversity of wild and marine species in our destination. We will give you the opportunity to explore 300 coral reef sites and more than 300,000 fish of 280 different species, many rare and endangered, as well as thousands of birds. The Red Sea also embraces many rare megafaunas such as endangered hawksbill sea turtles, rare dolphins, multiple species of rare sharks, and the world's third-largest number of dugongs.

This is only a brief narrative of what has been accomplished on site. Words cannot describe the amazing details to truly immerse your senses in the unique landscapes and geography of our promised homeland.