Red Sea Global’s CEO doesn’t rule out an IPO as it rebrands for expansion

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Updated 26 October 2022

Red Sea Global’s CEO doesn’t rule out an IPO as it rebrands for expansion

Red Sea Global’s CEO doesn’t rule out an IPO as it rebrands for expansion

RIYADH: The CEO of Saudi Arabia’s most ambitious tourism project doesn’t rule out an initial public offering for the giga project, as it gears up for expansion under a global new brand.

Speaking to Arab News at the 6th edition of the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh on Oct. 25, John Pagano didn't say when his company — formally known as The Red Sea Development Co. — will list publicly, while indicating that this is more of a future option to secure any additional funding.  

The Red Sea project, which is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program, will start to become reality next year when the Kingdom’s newest tourist destination opens its first three resorts by late spring, according to the CEO.

The project is ready to welcome “people from around the world.”

The resorts set to open are St. Regis and the Ritz Carlton Reserve and Six Senses.

“It's the first step in the realization of Vision 2030. We have a lot of work to do," Pagano said.

RSG's CEO revealed they will open the airport to serve the first opening of the hotels, with a seaplane terminal that will be operational to welcome the guests. 

“We have another 13 resorts that are under development right now that will open a year later. So in 2024, we will complete the first phase of Red Sea, which is a total of 16 hotels,” said Pagano, adding: “We've announced the brands over time. We have 12 hotel management agreements in place; a couple of the hotels, we're going to brand ourselves and build the Red Sea hospitality brand around that.”

Regarding Amaala, Pagano highlighted the luxury development has eight resorts under construction that will also be completed at the end of 2024. 

“The opening next year is a hugely important milestone. But the real focus continues to be completing the first phase of both Red Sea and Amaala to really open and launch the destination on a really, truly global scale,” he said.

RSG announced its new name on the sidelines of the first day of FII. The rebranding is part of its global vision to lead the narrative transition toward regenerative development.

“I think it's appropriate that we change our name to reflect our global ambitions, our ambition to really change the way we do things, not just here in Saudi Arabia, but would actually lead the world in that transformation,” John Pagano told Arab News.

“I think that is the real essence behind why we're doing it. We're a company that wants to do better for people and for the planet. And Red Sea Global is the right positioning and branding for our new global ambitions,” he added.

“I'm thinking about next year, but I got the rest of this year to concern myself with a huge amount of effort going into preparing the destination to welcome our first guests from getting our mobility strategy working,” Pagano said.

“I mean, actually realizing the mobility strategy, commissioning our electric vehicles, we have hydrogen-powered boats that are under production. Now, our seaplane businesses are coming — all of this is coming together so that when we open our doors in late spring, next year. We're going to be fully ready to open our arms and welcome people from around the world,” he added.