Red Sea set to welcome guests this year
Set to welcome its first guests in 2023, The Red Sea is one of the first Saudi tourism destinations in the Kingdom to join Serandipians, and is one of just a small select number of luxury destinations to join the network before officially opening to guests.
We spoke to Loredana Pettinati, Senior Travel Trade Director at Red Sea Global, in the UAE last month for high-profile trade and media market entry events.
“Embracing adventure, culture, luxury, and nature, The Red Sea and Amaala are two tourism destinations being developed on Saudi Arabia’s west coast by Red Sea Global (RSG).
“While we anticipate 300,000 annual arrivals at the completion of phase one, we expect to welcome one million tourists annually once the destination is fully operational.”
Spanning over 28,000 sq km of undulating desert dunes, mountain canyons, an archipelago of 90 islands, dormant volcanoes and ancient heritage sites, The Red Sea will feature 16 hotels, residential properties, an 18-hole championship golf course, entertainment, and leisure facilities within phase one.
“Each element is designed in harmony with nature and with regeneration at its core. The Red Sea is planning to open in early 2023 and will have increased international access with the opening of the Red Sea International airport (RSI). Leading hotel brands due to open in 2023 include Six Senses, St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton Reserve.”
Amaala is an ultra-luxury destination due to welcome guests in 2024. Set in the Prince Mohammad bin Salman Natural Reserve along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast, Amaala will be the first global integrated family wellness destination, set to curate transformative personal journeys inspired by arts, wellness, and the purity of the Red Sea.
“State of the art facilities and an attractive year-long events calendar will ensure Amaala is a distinctive wellness destination worldwide. Featuring diverse natural ecosystems and a unique landscape, Amaala will feature eight resorts, residential units, a marine life institute, a marina and yacht club within 4,155 sq km,” says Pettinati.
Who are the most likely to visit these destinations? “Our offerings will cater to multi-generational groups in the family demographic segment but will also appeal to solo travelers, couples and friends looking for wellness, diving, adventure, culture, spa, golf and beach getaways.”
The Red Sea hospitality portfolio includes a range of upper upscale hotels through to ultra-luxury resorts. The first phase will comprise 16 resorts offering up to 3,000 hotel rooms and residential properties across islands and inland sites.
“We already have signed with 12 international hotel brands signed up to operate its world-class assets. They represent 1,700 of the 3,000 rooms being delivered in phase one. These include brands such as EDITION, St Regis, Fairmont, Raffles, SLS, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental, Six Senses, Jumeirah, Rosewood, Miraval, FAENA and Ritz Carlton Reserve.”
The Red Sea area offers an amazing natural setting for stargazing. This is due to a stunning combination of sea, desert and rock landscapes as well as the lack of light pollution, Pettinati tells us.
“As a destination, we are seeking Dark Sky accreditation to protect our skies from light pollution. This is part of our commitment to the Red Sea project area adopting a sustainable and regenerative approach to developing our destination.
“We also take the issue of light pollution extremely seriously and have developed an innovative lighting strategy with smart technology that will provide enough sustainable lighting for safe movement around the site, whilst meeting the stringent International Dark Sky criteria.”
Due to its coastal location in the north-west of Saudi Arabia, The Red Sea has a temperate climate that is more like the Mediterranean than the Middle East, Pettinati tells TTN. “With an average annual temperature of 32 °C, guests will enjoy exploring The Red Sea’s vast and diverse area.”
Naturally, there will be watersports available around the year, aside for several other activations to keep tourists coming.