RIYADH: NEOM’s first luxury island destination Sindalah will play host to superyachts and top-end apartments, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed as he announced the latest project set to boost Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry.
Extending over an area of approximately 840,000sq. m., Sindalah is one of a group of islands that will be developed in the giga-project, and is expected to create 3,500 jobs for the tourism sector and hospitality and leisure services.
The island will act as a main gateway to the Red Sea, offering bespoke nautical experiences and is expected to start welcoming guests from early 2024, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The Crown Prince said: “This is another significant moment for NEOM and a major step in the Kingdom realizing its tourism ambitions under Vision 2030.
“Sindalah will be NEOM’s first luxury island and yacht club destination in the Red Sea, providing a scenic gateway to the Red Sea that will become the region’s most exciting and attractive tourism location.
“It will be a destination where travelers can experience the true beauty of NEOM and Saudi Arabia, above and below the water, making Sindalah the future of luxury travel.”
Speaking to Arab News, Chris Newman, executive director of hotel development at NEOM, set out the range of events and activites that the island will see once it has opened.
"Sindalah expects to host sophisticated cultural events, grand sporting spectacles and glamorous social celebrations throughout the year," he said, adding "There will be a year-round calendar of imaginative experiences, curated across various seasons."
These will include a social season from December to February which will offer guests access to exclusive music concerts, art and culture events, hosted in inspiring creative venues.
The 'Glamour season' will run from March to May, and then from October and November, and will coinciding with the peak yachting event season. gGuests will enjoy exclusive access to concerts, fashion and culinary festivals as part of the glamour season.
The active season from June to September will offer guests a range of family-friendly beach and recreational activities.
"Sindalah is one of many islands in NEOM. There are additional islands in development, and we will make the announcements in due course as more information becomes available," Newman added/
Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the chairman of NEOM’s Board of Directors, said the launch of Sindalah is a major step in realizing the Kingdom’s tourism ambitions, in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030.
Sindalah will have an 86-berth marina, as well as hosting 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms, in addition to 333 top-end serviced apartments.
Other attractions in Sindalah include a luxe beach club, yacht club and 38 unique culinary offerings that will provide an incomparable experience in the Red Sea.
Sindalah is also expected to become a popular golfing destination by offering enthusiasts the opportunity to experience a world-class 6,474-yard (5,920 meters) par 70 course. With its 18 tees, the Sindalah golf course will deliver two unique nine-hole experiences.
NEOM, the $500 billion smart city, is one of the most important projects supporting Saudi Arabia’s national tourism strategy, as the Kingdom steadily diversifies its economy which was heavily dependent on oil for decades.
In November, speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM said that the hanging stadiums in the smart city will make tourists reimagine and visualize the future.
“In The Line, we want people to come and see how sports stadiums are built, and where they are built. The sports stadiums in NEOM are 300 meter high, loose and hanging in the air,” said Al-Nasr.
He also added that OXAGON, the industrial city in NEOM also has all the potential to become a world-class tourist destination, where visitors can come and see how the future will be.
“It is in OXAGON where all industries will be, and it is the port of NEOM. Yet, we would like to see tourists spending a day or two in OXAGON. They will see the future of industries in OXAGON. Everything in NEOM is built for the future era. We want them to come and see how future sea ports will operate,” he added.