The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind Saudi Arabia’s flagship international regenerative tourism initiative The Red Sea Project, today announced it had awarded to date more than 500 contracts to international and local firms.
Collectively worth around SAR 7.5 billion ($2bn), these include awards for the design, build and operation of state-of-the-art accommodation and facilities at the destination.
“This significant landmark underscores the scale of our project and the remarkable progress made to create the destination of the future. TRSDC is a contributing factor to the growth of the Saudi Arabian economy and is playing a pivotal role in its Vision 2030 plan. I am honoured to be able to showcase the incredible advances our brilliant team and partners have achieved towards making our vision a reality,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
Breaking new ground
Since the company’s inception in 2017, over 70 percent of the total value of contracts has been awarded to Saudi firms, highlighting TRSDC’s commitment to strengthening the local economy. Overall, more than 500 contracts have been awarded to companies from 24 countries, which is indicative of the scale of the project and the international expertise required to create the unique destination.
Work on the destination’s transport links is well underway and includes developing 80km of roads, highways and junctions to connect the destination, and the new international airport.
Archirodon is constructing a crossing linking Shurayrah Island (the destination’s main hub) to the mainland and is constructing a number of jetties. Meanwhile, Saudi Amana Contracting has delivered the first volumetric prefabricated units, which were built in a newly established facility in Saudi Arabia. These units will form part of the Coastal Village development, a new town set to house the 14,000 staff who will operate the destination once complete.
The development of the Construction Village, which will be home to 10,000 construction workers, is nearing completion with all 1,876 cabins built off-site, delivered and assembled. While the onsite landscape nursery, which spans over one million square meters, is fully operational and set to deliver upwards of 15 million plants.
In July this year, TRSDC signed its largest contract to date for airside infrastructure works for the destination’s international airport, set to open in 2022. Awarded as a joint venture to two leading Saudi contractors, Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd and Almabani General Contractors, the contract symbolizes another significant step in progress, while demonstrating TRSDC’s ongoing commitment to creating opportunities within the Saudi Arabian construction sector.
In addition to working with international and local companies, TRSDC has also forged partnerships with universities and ministries, as well as leading scientific and academic institutions.
For instance, the company worked with King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) on an ambitious Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) program to map out land and coral reef conservation areas at the site. This exercise informed the Concept Master Plan which predicts a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040, showcasing TRSDC’s commitment to setting new standards in regenerative sustainability.
Sustainable is not enough
TRSDC is a standard-bearer in luxury ecotourism, with the goal of becoming the first global destination to demonstrate a regenerative tourism approach on this scale.
TRSDC is working to establish the largest marine protected area in the Middle East, which will be just under 5,400 square kilometers. TRSDC also plans to implement a number of innovative methods to sequester carbon, including increasing the size of mangrove habitats across the destination, direct air capture and establishing marine algae farms.
In addition to manufacturing off-site, TRSDC uses eco-friendly, sustainable ‘green’ concrete on-site in order to minimize emissions throughout the construction process.
“All of our world-class partners are carefully selected and are truly aligned to our sustainability and business principles. One of the things that makes The Red Sea Development Company so special is our unwavering commitment to regenerative sustainability. Taking just a sustainable approach isn’t enough. We want to enhance the destination for generations to come,” Mr. Pagano added.
A look ahead
And there is still more to come. By the end of 2020, many more contracts will be awarded including for the airport terminal, an airport operator, and a major public-private partnership (PPP) utilities package that will secure 100 percent renewable energy generation, water desalination, waste treatment and district cooling. Together, these contracts will take aggregate commitments to a total approaching SAR 15 billion ($4 billion).
The Red Sea Project has already passed significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and the first four hotels will open. The remaining 12 hotels scheduled for completion in Phase One will open in 2023, delivering a total of 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts.