Red Sea Global close to having 50% Saudi staff as it focuses on its domestic legacy

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Updated 07 May 2023

Red Sea Global close to having 50% Saudi staff as it focuses on its domestic legacy

Red Sea Global close to having 50% Saudi staff as it focuses on its domestic legacy

RIYADH: Red Sea Global has almost achieved a 50-50 split when it comes to Saudi employees as the tourist resort moves towards boosting the number of domestic workers, according to a leading executive.

Speaking on the sidelines of Arabian Travel Market 2023 in Dubai, Tracy Lanza, global head of brand development at RSG, talked up the importance of the giga-project training up local workers and the legacy this would leave.

The Red Sea destination will have 50 resorts by 2030, with up to 8,000 hotel rooms and over 1,000 residential buildings spread across 22 islands and six inland areas. 

It will open three of these resorts this year, as well as welcoming domestic flights and travelers to its airport.

In March, Maryam Ficociello, chief governance officer at RSG, said 45 percent of the then-2,700 employees were Saudi nationals, and Lanza suggested the company was edging closer to half of all workers coming from the Kingdom.

Asked what the Saudization target is for the company, Lanza said: “The goal is 50-50 and we are nearly there, and I can say from a marketing standpoint, our team is at 67 percent and growing. We also have the largest percentage of Saudi women, I think, at the company.” 

She added: “We have a number of different initiatives that we've got going. Some are educational, some are vocational.

“We have programs to teach English for hospitality, we have programs that will teach people how to work at airports, how to work at our hotels. It’s one of the foundational legacies that hopefully Red Sea Global will be able to create is this education for a hospitality workforce.”

RSG has been recognized internationally for its leadership in the field of sustainable development, something which Abdulla Al-Zahrani, executive director of brand and marketing at RSG, says was a key tenet of the project from the very beginning.

Also speaking to Arab News at ATM 2023, he said: “We brought scientists, we worked with them to identify the locations within the destination that can work for building hotels and protect and enhance the environment that we inherited in the destination.”

Reflecting on the importance of preserving local culture, Al-Zahrani added: “It works hand-in-hand with sustainability. 

“The entire development and the design of the destination overall is built with a perfect harmony with the entire destination, plus celebrating the local culture of Saudi Arabia. 

“The culture is rich there and we make sure we have integrated the culture with the experiences.”

He also stated that RSG is taking measures to become the world’s first destination of this scale to be run entirely on renewable energy from the start, with no connection to a national grid. 

As a tourist resort, RSG is of course focused on providing an unparalleled experience for travelers.

Its airport will focus on smooth and hassle-free traveling, and Al-Zahrani described the goal as making the experience “seamless”, citing how a traveler’s luggage will arrive at their hotels. 

The company used ATM 2023 to launch Akun, a new adventure sports brand that will offer unique experiences for guests at RSG destinations.

Announcing the brand, RSG CEO John Pagano said it would offer a “diverse range of ‘bucket-list’ adventures,” including various types of biking, climbing, and action sports, for beginners and experts.