Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project, the world’s most ambitious luxury tourism and hospitality development, is set to offer an exclusive experience of unparalleled diversity for global travellers.
The destination, being developed by the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), will set new standards in sustainable development and exceed expectations to create a unique travel experience and unforgettable memories.
It is being developed over 28,000 square kilometres of pristine land on Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 islands. The destination also features mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes and ancient cultural and heritage sites.
The project is large-scale – involving the build of 50 hotels (offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms), around 1,300 residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that emphasises renewable energy and water conservation and re-use.
Activity for the first phase of development, which focuses on enabling the infrastructure to support future work, is underway.
A marine infrastructure contract awarded in July 2019 includes the construction of a 3.3-kilometre crossing to Shurayrah (the main hub) and development has begun at the Coastal Village, which will be home to around 14,000 people who will work at the destination.
On 28 January 2021, TRSDC advised that it had completed the first stage of the LEED for Cities (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification in the ‘Plan & Design’ criteria for The Red Sea Project.
The award recognises TRSDC’s execution of practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at improving the sustainability and standard of living for those involved in the project.
“As part of our ambition to become standard-bearers in luxury ecotourism, we are proud to have passed this first stage of LEED accreditation,” commented CEO of TRSDC, John Pagano.
“The award is a recognition of our efforts to go beyond the current expectations associated with sustainable tourism, and to become one of the first global destinations to demonstrate a regenerative approach to tourism,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the U.S Green Building Council as we continue to develop our world-class destination, ensuring we protect, preserve and enhance our natural environment throughout our construction period and beyond.”
LEED for Cities is an internationally recognised urban sustainability rating system and certification program that provides third-party verification of the current performance of built-out cities and communities.
USGBC benchmarks current performance and establishes targeted metrics that enable continuous improvement and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, human health and economic prosperity.
As well as the destination-wide final certification set for award in Q2 2021, TRSDC is working with the USGBC to achieve certification on several hero buildings on-site, including 15 hotels, an international airport and staff accommodation buildings.
President and CEO of USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, said that the work of cities and communities such as The Red Sea Project is a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all.
“Cities and communities that achieve LEED certiﬁcation are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and striving to improve the quality of life for their residents. The Red Sea Development Company is setting the standard for what it means to be a high performer and their eﬀorts and achievements should be an example for all,” Mr Ramanujam said.
TRSDC’s commitment to regenerative tourism was recognised during the assessment process, specifically the master plan which was informed by a comprehensive Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) exercise.
This initiative helped identify priority conservation areas and ensured 75 per cent of the islands within The Red Sea Project area were left untouched, with nine islands designated as special conservation zones.
Moreover, TRSDC is committed to delivering a 30 per cent net conservation benefit by 2040.
As part of this, it is creating the world’s largest battery storage facility to enable the entire site to be powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day, including the island sites.