RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a luxury Red Sea resort project on Wednesday.
The “Coral Bloom” development has been designed by the world-renowned British architectural firm Foster + Partners.
It will be built on Shurayrah Island, the main island of the Red Sea Project off the Kingdom’s west coast.
With a natural dolphin shape, the island is home to the world's fourth largest barrier reef system, untouched corals and a significant number of endangered species.
The concept for the island is designed to blend in with its pristine natural environment.
“We expect guests to be awed by what they see when they first arrive at The Red Sea Project, enjoying a truly immersive barefoot luxury experience,” John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), said. “The Coral Bloom designs, taking inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia, promise to make that vision a reality.
Pagano added: “Shurayrah Island is the gateway to The Red Sea Project so it’s important that it sets the standard in groundbreaking architecture and sustainable design, not just for our destination, but globally too. This is achieved by going beyond simply protecting the environment, to applying a regenerative approach.”
The project includes 11 hotels on the island that will be operated by the most famous and largest hotel brands in the world, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The hotel designs have taken into account the changing world and traveler demands over the last 12 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our vision for Shurayrah is inspired by the island’s natural state, with the hotels designed to give the impression that they have washed up on the beaches and nestled among the dunes almost like driftwood,” Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster + Partners said.
“The materials we use and the low impact they have ensures that the pristine environment is protected, while the additions we make to the island serve to enhance what is already there – hence the name, Coral Bloom.”
The developers said biodiversity considerations will take center stage in the design and disruption of the island’s mangroves and other habitats will be avoided.
New habitats will be created through landscaping to enhance the island’s natural state.
The design includes new beaches along with a new lagoon. These enhancements will contribute to raising the level of the land and provide a defensive layer from the global threat of rising sea levels.