Saudi Red Sea Project ‘to have 40-50 hotels’

Updated 26 October 2018

Saudi Red Sea Project ‘to have 40-50 hotels’

  • The Red Sea Project will span a 28,000 square kilometer area on Saudi Arabia’s west coast, approximately 550km north of Jeddah
  • Work to start next year on development spanning 50 islands in western Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: As many as 50 hotels will be part of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, for which investment partners are due to be courted over the next few months, its CEO said on Thursday.
Plans for the ambitious tourism development, which will span 50 islands off the Red Sea coast, include a nature reserve and heritage sites.
John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Company, said work would begin on the project next year, with the first phase set to open in 2022.

“The project is going to have many hotels — probably 40 or 50,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum in Riyadh.
“We will be represented by all the major luxury brands that are in the marketplace and some new brands that don’t exist today.”
The project’s masterplan is set to be completed soon, with construction due to start in 2019, he added.
“We’ll open in 2022. We haven’t finalized exactly how big the first phase is, but it will be significant, maybe 10 or more hotels, but … we want to finalize the masterplan before we go to market,” Pagano said.

The project is backed by the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Pagano said that “numerous people (are) already approaching us to co-invest alongside us.”
He said the company would start to “actively look” for such investors toward the end of this year and in early 2019.
Addressing the FII event, Pagano said the Red Sea Project is expected to create 35,000 jobs.
It is billed as sustainable and eco-friendly, with Pagano saying it is intended to be “a force for good.”
He spoke during a session on so-called “gigaprojects” at the FII event, which concluded on Thursday.
Other such projects include the $500 billion NEOM development, and Qiddiya just outside Riyadh.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, chief executive of NEOM, said talks with prospective partners are continuing, despite the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“I’ve had tens of meetings (in the) last couple of days with all the partners we’ve been talking to for last few years. The feeling is ‘let’s go’,” Al-Nasr told the FII audience.
Michael Reininger, the chief executive of Qiddiya, confirmed that leisure brand Six Flags is going ahead with plans to open a theme park in the development. Qiddiya is set to span some 334 square kilometers.


Dr. Youssef bin Abdo Abdullah Asiri, professor and undersecretary at King Saud University in Riyadh

Updated 24 min 34 sec ago

Dr. Youssef bin Abdo Abdullah Asiri, professor and undersecretary at King Saud University in Riyadh

Dr. Youssef bin Abdo Abdullah Asiri is a professor of clinical pharmacy at the King Saud University’s  (KSU) College of Pharmacy in Riyadh and also an undersecretary for planning and development at the university.

Born in Makkah, Asiri graduated from the KSU’s College of Pharmacy. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in hospital pharmacy from North Carolina University, US. Subsequently, he completed several courses in health management at the College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville. 

During his stay in the US, he also obtained a certificate of resident pharmacist from North Carolina University Hospital.

He did his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Pacific — Stockton, California, US.

He returned to the Kingdom and joined the KSU’s College of Pharmacy in Riyadh as a faculty member. Asiri worked at several positions in the college. He remained dean of the College of Pharmacy for administrative affairs from 2001 to 2004.

He served as the vice dean of the college for academic affairs between 2004 and 2007. 

In 2007, he was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy. 

He has participated in several local, regional and international conferences. His research papers have been published in several scientific journals.

Asiri participated in the second annual Saudi International Plastic Surgery Conference held in Riyadh. The event focused on the latest trends in health care with a particular reference to plastic surgery.