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Insights What is the Red Sea Project and what does it mean for the Middle East

In a bid to move away from an economy primarily reliant on oil and gas, Saudi Arabia’s “ Vision 2030 ” promotes a future that puts culture, education and industrial diversification at the top of its list of priorities. One of the key projects of the Saudi Vision is the innovative Red Sea project.

Unprecedented levels of prefabrication, strict environmental protections and standard-busting worker welfare mark out this tourism giga-project, which is just one of several different schemes making Saudi Arabia one of the hottest spots for global construction in the world today. Here we take a look at the Red Sea Project, and what it means for the Middle East.

What is the Red Sea Project?

The Red Sea Project is the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, offering an exclusive experience of unparalleled diversity for discerning global travellers. The site encompasses an archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands, miles of sweeping desert and dramatic mountain landscapes.

Essential enabling infrastructure is already underway at the destination. There are now 80km of new roads complete, including the new airport road, to better connect the destination. The Construction Village, set to house 10,000 workers, is now open and development is progressing well at the Coastal Village, which will be home to around 14,000 people who will eventually work at the destination.

Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise some 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways. The destination will include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, and leisure facilities.

Improving attraction to tourists

The main goal of the project is to increase Saudi Arabia’s appeal to tourists from around the world. The country has been steadily investing in its travel and tourism economy and infrastructure over the past few years and the Red Sea Project itself is one of the more significant examples of this aim. It is hoped that on completion that 70,000 new jobs will be created thanks to this development.

Contribute to sustainability goals

Beyond this, one of the main goals of the construction work is to create a resort that respects and protects the local ecosystem of the Red Sea coastline . The ongoing work is to focus on building resorts that respect the sustainability of wildlife and the environment in the region. The area is planned to be carbon neutral in the long term and will completely avoid the use of any plastic in the proposed hotels.

The Environmental Sustainability Framework is designed to ensure that the project area’s environment and biodiversity are both protected and enhanced as a result of destination development. The aim is to not just avoid harm during development, but to actively contribute to the area’s unique ecosystems, making a net positive 30% contribution to biodiversity at the destination.

Join AtkinsRéalis and contribute to future giga-projects

If you’re an innovative architect, designer, or engineer, now is your opportunity to work on one of the most challenging and exciting projects in modern times. Join AtkinsRéalis and contribute to the advancement of tomorrow; and in doing so achieve your own personal and professional goals.

The Middle East is not just about traditional engineering, but about combining the greatest minds with technology to provide digital solutions for a better planet. Come join us and work with like-minded people with a growth mindset. Browse our available roles in the Middle East today and take the next step in your career.