RIYADH: An ultra-luxurious destination on Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast of the Red Sea has been announced by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The “Amaala” resort, already being dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East”, will be focused upon wellness, healthy living and meditation.
Initial funding will be provided by PIF, which is spearheading the project. The resort will be located in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nature Reserve. Partnership and investment packages will be available to the private sector as it progresses. PIF said Amaala will sit alongside NEOM and the Red Sea Project as part of a giga-projects investment portfolio, which will establish a unique “tourism ecosystem,” supporting economic diversification and creating high-value job opportunities.
Nicholas Naples, a veteran luxury hospitality and development executive, will be the CEO of the project, PIF said.
“Amaala will awaken the world’s imagination by rephrasing the current concept of the luxury tourism experience, especially in terms integrative wellness, specialty treatments and related recreational offerings,” Naples said.
“Our concept will provide a rich service offering that exceeds customers’ expectations by providing a comprehensive suite of services not commonly found in one location that is unique by all measures. The Amaala experience will be enhanced by its setting, spread across beautiful, untouched natural sites.
“Amaala represents a unique and transformational luxury experience where full-fledged wellness tourism is integrated alongside a curated mix of arts, culture, and sports offerings that are individually tailored for the ultra-luxury lifestyle, including the availability of a fashion scene, healthy-living services, and year-round sea expeditions.”
According to the developers, Amaala will feature "extraordinary architecture and unprecedented luxury in both hotels and private villas as well as a quaint retail village." It will also include an arts academy that will foster the growth and development of young artists from Saudi Arabia and the region.
PIF announced there will be cultural events, artistic performances and related conferences in a bid to bring international visitors to the region, where they can enjoy a wide array of unique and personalized holiday experiences set against stunning scenery, mountainous landscapes and diving among pristine coral reefs.
The project will include marinas and a yacht club and aims to be a destination for boutique luxury cruises. The retail areas will include a mix of galleries, ateliers, artisan workshops and bespoke outlets along with a wide range of international and local restaurants.
As envisioned in Vision 2030, Amaala – along with the other giga-projects — will support the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and tourism industry, while promoting cultural conservation, ecological preservation and sustainability.
How does Amaala fit with the ambitions of Vision 2030?
Amaala will be a significant driver of domestic and foreign direct investment, stimulating economic growth and job creation on Saudi Arabia’s north- western coast, and, as envisioned in the Vision 2030 strategy, intends to support the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and tourism industry, while promoting cultural conservation, ecological preservation and sustainability. Amaala will also generate an expected 22,000 jobs across hospitality and tourism, leisure and retail, in addition to the opportunities created in construction and ancillary industries.
What differentiates Amaala from the other Giga Projects?
Amaala is an ultra-luxury development that is part of an integrated approach to developing Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast focusing on wellness, healthy living, and meditation.; it is intended to become the newest destination on the jet-setter map. Amaala will provide the facilities and services for guests to shape their own luxury experience. It will celebrate arts, culture, fashion, wellness and sports, providing every guest a bespoke luxury lifestyle of their own choice. Amaala will be part of a new Red Sea ecosystem – which includes NEOM and the Red Sea Project. All of the developments on the Red Sea are intended to co-exist in a complementary manner to cover different target audiences by providing different offerings to match their needs, and of course, futuristic business and industrial zones.
How will Amaala compete with other luxury global destinations?
Amaala offers idyllic weather year-round, and sits in a central position between Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It will take luxury to an unprecedented level by providing an array of lifestyle experiences, with social norms adopting leading practices to improve standards of livability for its residents and visitors. Amaala is anchored around three pillars: Wellness, Healthy living & sports; Art & culture; Sea, sun & lifestyle; and. Each of these elements is being developed to truly world-class standards that will fascinate visitors from across the world. Amaala will also stand out for its natural diversity and a unique heritage offering with several stunning geological and historical sites, such as Madain Saleh and Al-Ula. Further, the Red Sea Coral Reef offers a truly unique and protected eco-system to explore and will appeal to visitors as one of the world’s last remaining pristine marine ecosystems.
Who will visit the destination?
Visitors from across the world are expected to be at Amaala. We expect it to become a desirable holiday destination for ultra-luxury travelers focusing on wellness, healthy living, and meditation, in the region and beyond. The yachting marina in Amaala will offer year-round berthing for marine enthusiasts. In short, Amaala will offer an experiential lifestyle choice to every discerning visitor. We also expect the destination to boost domestic tourism, especially with the current focus of the Saudi Vision 2030 to enhance it. The uniqueness of the destination and limited availability will make Amaala a destination for the connoisseurs of fine living.
Why will luxury travelers choose to visit Amaala over other established destinations?
We do not see travellers needing to choose Amaala ‘instead of’ any other destination, but rather it will become (and remain) a new destination on the jet-set map. The location and climate make it suitable for vacations or yacht mooring any time of the year. Amaala will combine wellness, healthy living and sport; nature and heritage; lifestyle and arts & culture. It will also utilise its unique heritage and geological points of interest.
How does PIF intend to finance the project?
The initial seed funding will be provided by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), who will spearhead the development of Amaala into a bespoke hospitality experience located within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve. Private sector companies and market investors will be invited to invest in the remainder of the project as well as operate the project’s facilities.
How will the development impact the delicate eco-system of the Red Sea Coral Reef?
In the strategic planning phases of this project, significant effort was made to ensure that the development of the project, and subsequently the operation of the resorts and facilities there-in, co-exist with the natural eco-system of the area. The delivery of the sites will prioritise sustainability and source innovative, eco-friendly solutions such as sustainable farming, solar power generation and other features that will not jeopardise or destroy the fragile marine ecosystem.
What is the size of the Amaala project and how many units can be expected?
Amaala will be developed over three sites located within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve on the pristine north-western coast of Saudi Arabia. The development will cover an area of more than 3,800 sq. km. and will target more than 2,500, hotel keys and 700 residential villas, apartments and estate homes, plus over 200 high end retail establishments boasting an eclectic mix of galleries, ateliers, artisan workshops and bespoke retail shops supported by a wide range of international and local signature dining venues.