With 12 luxury brands, The Red Sea leads the way in promoting sustainable tourism

With 12 luxury brands, The Red Sea leads the way in promoting sustainable tourism
The developments of the Red Sea Project will be powered by renewable energy. The company seeks to provide ultra-luxury facilities without disturbing the surrounding nature or the ecosystem of the area. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 07 June 2022

With 12 luxury brands, The Red Sea leads the way in promoting sustainable tourism

With 12 luxury brands, The Red Sea leads the way in promoting sustainable tourism
  • The company believes in safeguarding, developing landscape and shores of the Red Sea

RIYADH: The traditional concept of tourism is now radically changing as many countries are gradually and earnestly promoting and investing in sustainable travel.

But what is sustainable tourism, and why is there such a big hype among countries eager to attract tourists to their natural and untouched habitats?

According to the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

To underline the importance of sustainable tourism, the UNWTO is holding its 116th session in Jeddah from June 7-8. The main theme naturally is sustainable tourism. 

Proudly sharing TRSDC experience 

The host country Saudi Arabia will surely highlight its achievement in enhancing and promoting sustainable tourism with special emphasis on the Kingdom’s pride — The Red Sea Development Co.

TRSDC plans to open three hotels this year and add 13 more by the end of 2023. The ambitious projects aim to create 120,000 jobs and add SR30 billion to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, according to the company. Brands already on board include St Regis, Six Senses and more ultra-luxury hotel concepts focusing on sustainability.

The company has achieved an overall score of 91 out of 100 in last year’s environmental, social, and governance assessment by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, beating the score of 84 it accomplished in its first-ever assessment in 2020.

In November 2021, the company was given the ESG Initiative of the Year award at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland’s 2021 Awards.

This followed TRSDC’s launch of its Good Governance Toolkit to guide other organizations in Saudi Arabia on best governance practices.

The company’s top executives realize that safeguarding and developing the landscape and shores of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea is essential to attract tourists who appreciate the earth’s hidden natural treasure.

Not surprisingly, all hotels and sea resorts, both inland and on the islands, must comply with the strict environmental rules and conditions set by TRSDC. 




John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC

“Sustainability will set us apart… The Red Sea concept is all about building and working with nature,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, in an interview with Arab News. “Coral reef systems are there. For us, the goal is how to deliver what we need without impacting the environment. My visitors will get to truly immerse themselves in nature.”

AMAALA, under TRSDC’s directive, will also open eco-friendly resorts with an added focus on wellness. The project’s first phase, which includes nine resorts, aims to be complete by the end of 2024. 




Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, chief administrative officer at TRSDC, AMAALA

It is a total focus on protecting the environment, Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, the chief administrative officer at TRSDC and AMAALA, commented.

TRSDC’s drive to meet sustainable tourism criteria  

In its efforts to achieve environmental excellence, TRSDC developed an Environmental Management System, producing an EMS Manual in January 2021. The EMS was rolled out companywide by midyear 2021, supporting the company’s bid for The Red Sea Project to achieve ISO14001:2015 certification.

“TRSDC’s EMS is aimed at guiding and managing TRSDC’s activities with respect to the environment throughout the design, construction, and operational stages. The implementation of the EMS allows TRSDC to identify areas in need of improvement and actively work toward bettering them,” according to the company.

In 2021, the organization became one of the first companies in the Middle East to achieve the ISO 9001:2015 certification for quality management for the design and construction of assets.

TRSDC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with social investment company Ethmar and private foundation Ghoroos that will support TRSP’s social development objectives in numerous ways, including studying and implementing agricultural development opportunities in the project area and helping to strengthen community service and volunteer work initiative.

TRSDC partners with Red Sea Farms 

The company has also partnered with Red Sea Farms, a Saudi Arabian ag-tech business, to develop a sustainable food supply for The Red Sea’s flagship destination using sunlight and saltwater.

Red Sea Farms will build and operate the indoor farm, growing crops to sustainably feed guests and residents at The Red Sea Project. It will become the main supplier to the luxury destination’s resorts and restaurants.

The innovative technology uses sunlight and saltwater to cool greenhouses and grows crops instead of relying on rainfall, fresh groundwater, or desalinated water. This saves up to 300 liters of fresh water per kilogram of produce — a 95 percent saving compared with other ag-tech systems. In addition, the technology has been designed and developed in the Kingdom for use in often challenging environmental conditions.

“This means a reduced impact on the environment and a significant cost saving for growers. It also results in more nutritious crops while also providing a richer taste, flavor and texture,” according to TRSDC.

Partnering with Blue Planet Ecosystem

The company’s endeavor to protect the Kingdom’s ecology was also climaxed by another MoU with Blue Planet Ecosystems in October 2021.

“The Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture system works by replicating natural aquatic ecosystems in a modular and automated system. LARA converts carbon dioxide directly into chemical-free seafood using phyto and zooplankton as transitional stages. It is constructed of a tower of three horizontal units. The top unit uses the sun’s energy to grow microalgae which powers the entire system. The microalgae are then moved to the next unit, where it nourishes zooplankton. The zooplankton is then transported to the bottom unit, where it’s eaten by fish,” TRSDC explained.

It added that the project’s first phase would be implemented as a 3.500m2 pilot to assess whether conditions at TRSP are suitable for the solution to work effectively and efficiently. This will be the first LARA pilot in the Middle East to undergo a commercial trial.

Investing in renewable energy

Last year, TRSDC made great strides in its mission to build the world’s largest tourism spot powered by renewable energy on Saudi Arabia’s west coast.

In December 2021, a Saudi ACWA Power-led consortium secured $1.33 billion of financing to operate the renewable power-based multi-utilities infrastructure that will serve the site.

The multibillion-dollar project, based between Umluj and Al Wajh, covers 28,000 sq. km — an area the size of Belgium — which includes over 90 untouched islands, miles of desert dunes and mountain landscapes.


Zain KSA integrates latest Huawei 5G technology into its network 

Zain KSA integrates latest Huawei 5G technology into its network 
Updated 17 sec ago

Zain KSA integrates latest Huawei 5G technology into its network 

Zain KSA integrates latest Huawei 5G technology into its network 

RIYADH: Mobile telecom operator Zain KSA has collaborated with Chinese mobile technology firm Huawei to integrate the third generation of 5G solutions into its network across the Kingdom. 

This new RAN product MetaAAU technology integration will enable Zain KSA to offer a wide range of services to its customers through expanding coverage and capacity and increasing the network speed.

As MetaAAU uses extremely large antenna array architecture, multi-channel technology, and innovative algorithms, Huawei's most advanced products are able to offer double the scale of arrays compared with the previous-generation AAU.

This solution can improve network performance while slashing energy consumption, the company said in a press release. 

This comes as Zain KSA looks to support more 5G use cases, including cloud computing, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions while continuing to deliver better user experiences. 

“This new upgrade to our 5G network serves our strategic goal to deliver world-class 5G experiences that match up to Saudi Vision 2030’s goals of transforming the Kingdom into a digital economy hub powered by Industry 4.0 and supporting a high quality of life for its communities,” Chief Technology Officer at Zain KSA, Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda said. 

He added: “Building on our elaborate 5G infrastructure, we launched the 5G carrier aggregation feature in 2020, achieving ultra-fast Internet speeds of 2.4 Gbps.” 

Now with the accelerating industry ecosystem development, and as more and more 5G smartphones support this feature, Al-Mufadda said they are extending the population coverage of 5G dual carriers and bringing the ultra-fast user experience to more customers.

President of Huawei 5G Product Line, Ritchie Peng said, “We will continue to provide innovative solutions to help Zain KSA to build the leading performance network and provide a better user experience to end users.”


SAPTCO wins $23m bus transportation project with Taif Municipality

SAPTCO wins $23m bus transportation project with Taif Municipality
Updated 3 min 39 sec ago

SAPTCO wins $23m bus transportation project with Taif Municipality

SAPTCO wins $23m bus transportation project with Taif Municipality

RIYADH: The Saudi Public Transport Co. has been awarded an SR88 million ($23 million) bus project with Taif Municipality.

The five-year project will have a positive impact on the company's revenues during the first half of 2023, it said in a bourse filing.

Founded in 1979, SAPTCO operates urban buses in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Mecca; intercity buses; and international buses to the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain.


Capital Market Authority approves amending business list of BNP Paribas Saudi Arabia

Capital Market Authority approves amending business list of BNP Paribas Saudi Arabia
Updated 14 min 15 sec ago

Capital Market Authority approves amending business list of BNP Paribas Saudi Arabia

Capital Market Authority approves amending business list of BNP Paribas Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority has approved the request of BNP Paribas Investment Co. to amend the list of businesses it is licensed to practice.

Following the amendment, the investment service provider will be authorized to conduct dealing, keeping, arranging, and advising in securities business, according to a statement. 

Established in 2009, BNP Paribas Investment Co. Saudi Arabia is a private limited company based in Riyadh.

Operating in the investment services sector, the organization is owned by French-based enterprises.

In March 2021, BNP Paribas appointed Reema Al-Asmari as head of territory for Saudi Arabia, to bolster the French bank’s corporate and investment banking presence in the Kingdom.

This comes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030’s reform plan, as Saudi Arabia aims for female participation in the labor force to be at 30 percent by 2030, a target it has now achieved ahead of schedule.

The appointment came following a report by the global ratings agency Moody’s that found that rising female participation in the labor force has the potential to boost Saudi Arabia’s non-oil growth and improve average household incomes.


Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hires banks for debut green bonds, shows document

Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hires banks for debut green bonds, shows document
Updated 14 min 20 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hires banks for debut green bonds, shows document

Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hires banks for debut green bonds, shows document

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, has hired a large group of banks including Citi and JPMorgan to arrange a debut issuance of multi-tranche US dollar-denominated green bonds, a document showed on Tuesday.
BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, mandated as joint global coordinators and active book-runners, will organize investor calls starting on Tuesday.
A debut issuance in tranches of five, 10 and potentially a longer-dated tenor will follow, subject to market conditions. The issuance will be under GACI First Investment Co. and guaranteed by PIF.
Credit Agricole, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Mizuho, SMBC Nikko, SNB Capital, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered are also active book-runners, while ANB Capital, BofA Securities, Bank of China, GIB Capital, ICBC, IMI Intesa Sanpaolo, Morgan Stanley, MUFG, Natixis, Riyad Capital and Saudi Fransi Capital are also on the deal. 


MENA Project Tracker — DEWA awards advisory services contract; Iraq to complete $1bn airport by end of 2023

MENA Project Tracker — DEWA awards advisory services contract; Iraq to complete $1bn airport by end of 2023
Updated 27 September 2022

MENA Project Tracker — DEWA awards advisory services contract; Iraq to complete $1bn airport by end of 2023

MENA Project Tracker — DEWA awards advisory services contract; Iraq to complete $1bn airport by end of 2023

RIYADH: Emirates Water & Electricity Co. has awarded the contract to develop the Mirfa 2 seawater reverse osmosis project to a consortium led by France’s Engie, reported MEED.

The Engie-led team offered to develop the 120 million imperial gallons a day independent water plant for $48.32 cents a cubic meter, winning the contract over Spain's Acciona by $3.9 c/cm.

DEWA awards advisory services contract

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority has selected a team led by UK-based Deloitte for the advisory services contract on the development of the Hassyan seawater reverse osmosis independent water project, reported MEED.

It shares this title of ‘legal advisor’ with two other companies — Canadian engineering firm WSP and the UK’s Addleshaw Goddard.

The team placed a bid of 2.09 million dirhams ($570,000) to beat its competitors in the contract.

Bank Muscat credits $101m to Galfar

Bank Muscat has agreed to loan Galfar Engineering & Contracting credit facilities of 39 million Omani rials ($101 million) on their projects, reported MEED.

“We are pleased to further strengthen our partnership with Bank Muscat by concluding this bespoke agreement to facilitate execution of three major projects, which are part of the infrastructure development of our beloved nation,” said Hamoud Al-Tobi, CEO of Galfar.

Ora Developers grants $49m construction contracts

Egypt-based Ora Developers has granted two $49 million construction contracts to Redcon Construction and Concrete Plus for phase one of ZED East project in New Cairo, according to Zawya.

The scope of work in phase one includes constructing 400 residential units — consisting of apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and villas — stretching over 56 acres of land.

The project is expected to be complete by 2025.

Iraq to complete $1bn airport by end of 2023

Iraq is set to complete the first phase of the $1 billion Karbala Airport by the end of 2023, as part of its post-war rebuilding initiative, reported Zawya.

Upon its completion, the airport will hold a capacity of three million passengers.

“We hope that phase one of this strategic project will be completed next year and it will be formally inaugurated at the end of 2023,” stated Suha Al-Najjar, head of the National Investment Commission.