SAUDI, ARABIA—Amaala, one of the largest ultra-luxury sustainable resort projects ever conceived—one that will create 22,400 jobs and attract 310,000 visitors annually—is in the design stages for Saudi Arabia’s northeastern coast along the Red Sea. (See video.) Amaala, which is derived from the Arabic word for “hope,” will be set in a pristine natural reserve and includes three sites: Triple Bay, The Island, and The Coastal Development. Unique to the project is its environmental story. It will be built to have a zero-carbon footprint.
Reaching zero-carbon status will be a challenge, as the project will also include an airport, 200 retail establishments, art galleries, marinas, medical institute and more. Kevin Underwood: Planning and Design Lead in EMEA and Head of the Hospitality Market Sector at HKS, says a solar energy farm will provide electricity. “When guests arrive by plane they will be picked up by electric vehicles. All the buildings will have climate-responsive design. Water will be desalinized sea water. There will be a management protocol regarding saline waste. There will be a huge recycling plant. We have one of the best coral reefs in the world. There will be strict policies on plastic waste.”
The completion goal for the project is 2028. The current phase one includes master plans, concept drawings, and the production of design guides for architects. The first buildings will begin opening during phase two in the next few years. The northern side of the project and the marina will be built first.
Wellness, Sports & Health at Its Heart
Underwood says the Triple Bay project will have wellness, sports and health at its heart—two wellness resorts and a medical institute. “The Middle East has a lot of problems with obesity and diabetes due to inactivity and the heat,” Underwood says. The wellness centers will show how to detox and eat more healthfully.” A lot of the treatments will originate from the Middle East area. Also part of Triple Bay is the Rock Hotel, a property set inside a hillside overlooking the Red Sea.
The Island will feature exquisitely designed Arabic botanical gardens showcasing works of art and sculpture and breathtaking landscapes surrounding private villas. Anchored by an artist village of working studios, artisan shops, exhibit and performance facilities, The Village shall host an active arts community supported by ultra-luxury beachfront resorts and marinas.
The Coastal Development will be a gathering place for a community of influencers and connoisseurs and will feature a contemporary arts museum and cultural district.
HKS is one of 18 strategic partners on the project that has His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the Board of Directors. The CEO of Amaala Co. is Nicholas Naples. He has worked with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and has led several multi-billion-dollar greenfield integrated resort development projects.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.