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SaudiMegaprojects#2: The Red Sea Project Is An Incredible Blend Of Nature And Luxury

Red Sea Project

The Red Sea Project is a tourism and hospitality venture developed around the most exciting natural treasures of the world in Saudi Arabia. Covering over 28,000 square kilometers of unspoiled land and pristine waters, the project embraces a vast chain of over 90 islands. It will emerge as the gold standard in regenerative tourism and sustainable development when completed. The Red Sea Project has sustainability as its central theme and places critical importance on renewable energy, water conservation, and water recycling. The project also includes mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, heritage destinations, luxury hotels, residential ventures, entertainment resources, and leisure facilities. The Red Sea Project aims to showcase the Kingdom’s incredible potential while unlocking new cultural, social, and economic opportunities.

What is the Red Sea project?

The Red Sea Project is one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects. It will comprise of a new sprawling complex that will be present on the shores of the Tabuk province on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. The project’s core area will be between Umluj and Al-Wajh cities and will cover 90 small islands encompassing a mammoth 28,000 square kilometers.

  • The first phase of the Red Sea project will complete in 2022.
  • The first luxury destinations developed in this phase will be opened for tourists soon.
  • The project aims to give a major fillip to the country’s tourism goals and will also help create 70,000 plus new jobs.
  • A primary goal of the project is to create a global tourism destination that respects and supports sustainability.

Project timeline

The Red Sea project was announced in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and formally commenced in the same year. Construction work started in 2019. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2022. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2030.

Red Sea Project location

The Red Sea project, along the Western coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will be between Umluj and Al Wajh. The location has been carefully chosen as the area has a moderate climate throughout the year. The average summer temperature is around 31°C. A lagoon with 50 pristine and untouched natural islands stretching over 200 kilometers of the Red Sea coastline has been chosen as an exquisite luxury resort destination.

How to Reach

Tourists can take a flight, a private bus, or a car from Riyadh to Umluj. The distance is around 1200 km. Tourists can also travel to Umluj from Jeddah. It is a better and more convenient way of reaching the site. The distance is about 486 km. Additionally, tourists can also fly from Jeddah to Umluj.

The new project will also include a brand new international airport, making traveling to the destination easily. A major road infrastructure development is also part of the Red Sea project. It will involve the construction of 77 km of new roads that will connect with the airport to roads, highways, and roads within the new project. As the Red Sea project will focus on travel and tourism, the aim will be to make it as convenient and comfortable as possible for tourists to reach the destination.

Major tourist attractions

There are many goals of the Red Sea project, and all of them aim to increase the appeal of the Kingdom to the global tourists and encourage them to visit the country. The major attractions of the Red Sea project are:

1. Heritage sites

The region has footprints of numerous trading routes dating back to the Nabatean civilization. The site is uniquely positioned on the pilgrimage route when traveling from Egypt to the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah. Tourists can trace the routes of traders from the past and discover the remnants of history they have left behind. There are some exciting excursion potentials also available nearby. Most notable of them all is the Nabatean City of Mada’in Saleh which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

2. Pristine and untouched islands

With the Red Sea Project, there is a concerted effort to provide visitors access to a set of unique environmental settings comprising stunning beaches, captivating canyons, majestic mountains, and eye-catching mangroves. Visitors will have a wonderful time on the pristine, sandy beaches, bright sunny weather, and sheltered warm waters. A major attraction here is the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system. It is home to various endangered species and unseen corals. The 90-plus untouched islands are one of the project’s major highlights. Nearly 75 percent of these islands will remain in the same virgin state, while nine are the areas of special environmental interest. Apart from exciting eco-excursions, the islands will also offer access to many water sports activities, which will be carefully controlled and monitored.

3. An abundance of nature

The famous Hijaz Mountains form part of the Red Sea project and house a series of rare species of life. These include hawksbill turtles, wildcats, dugongs, and many others. The lagoon has a rich population of corals and fish of different species. It also has a few endangered seabirds. Prominent among them are the crab plover and the sooty falcon. The project is committed to preserving these habitats. That’s why 75 percent of the islands will not be included in the project’s development design.

4. Exposure to Saudi culture

There is warm hospitality omnipresent in the air in the Kingdom. Visitors will experience this the moment they touch down on Saudi soil. The Red Sea project will showcase the country’s amazing hospitality at every touch point. Visitors will learn about the distinct culture of the country. They can avail of the opportunities to view the lifestyle of the people from close quarters. The project also aims to highlight the country’s best culinary delights and the meticulous craftsmanship of artisans, honed to perfection over decades of practice.

5. The natural beauty of inland

The project will provide an insight into the area’s top natural features, including volcanic craters and mountain ranges. Natural desert rock carvings, archaeological riches, and heritage spice trails are available all over the region. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nabatean City of Mada’in Saleh, is located near the project. The volcanic field of Harrat Lunayyir with mineral-rich soils and clays is another major attraction.

Suggested Read: Scuba Diving In Saudi Arabia: 6 Cities To Explore The Red Sea Reefs

Project objectives

The Red Sea project will be one of the world’s best luxury resort destinations involving numerous islands of a lagoon and an abundance of nature and culture. It aims to set exacting standards for sustainable development and will be the next generation definition of luxury travel. The primary goal is to put Saudi Arabia on the international tourism map.

Other primary objectives of the Red Sea Project are:

  • Ensuring protection of 90-plus islands, desert dunes, mountains, and landscapes.
  • Improving the environment and biodiversity of the 28,000 square-meter sites.
  • Restoration and expansion of damaged coral reefs
  • Sequestration of carbon through seagrass meadows and mangrove forests
  • Protecting and sustaining the social fabric within the project area
  • Creating sustainable employment opportunities for locals
  • Creating and delivering unique cultural experiences for tourists
  • Setting the gold standard benchmark for future hospitality and sustainability projects

The Red Sea Project, a prominent module of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, is a genuinely matchless initiative. The project’s central aim is to catapult the country into the global tourism scene as a major player. The project’s timeline has two key phases. Phase one of the project will be completed by the end of 2022. The second and final phase will complete by the end of 2030, when all the 22 islands, the six island sites, and 48 luxury hotels will be fully developed.

Suggested Read: Saudi Arabia Tourism 2024: Top Cities, Itinerary, Do’s and Don’ts

Red Sea Project FAQs

Where is the Red Sea Project located?

The Red Sea project lies along the west coast of Tabuk Province.

How many total islands are under the Red Sea Project?

There are 90 plus islands under the Red Sea Project.

How many jobs will be created by the Red Sea Project?

70,000 plus jobs will be created by the Red Sea Project.

What are the major attractions of the Red Sea Project?

Heritage sites, beaches, coral reefs, and islands are some of the major tourist spots in the Red Sea Project.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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