Images shared by the CEO of the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) John Pagano show significant progress made at the Ummahat Islands reserve site.
Playing host to Nujama, part of the luxury hotel-chain Ritz Carlton’s Reserve collection, the 82-key resort will welcome guests in 2023, according to Pagano.
Great progress at #TheRedSea's Ummahat islands where the overwater and beach villas of the 82-key Nujuma, a @RitzCarlton Reserve are shaping up nicely. Welcoming our first guests here next year. pic.twitter.com/gnEPHijHE3— John Pagano (@JohnPagano) August 16, 2022
The property joins one of only five Ritz-Carlton Reserves worldwide, according to information on the hotelier’s website – in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
“Reserve properties are tucked away in handpicked corners of the world, featuring chic, relaxed and intimate settings that weave indigenous flavors with highly responsive and individualized service,” Ritz-Carlton said in information available to the press.
Nujuma will be situated on a set of private islands, which are part of the Red Sea’s Blue Hole cluster of islands. It is expected to include a spa, swimming pools, multiple culinary venues, a retail area and a variety of other leisure and entertainment offerings including a conservation center.
Marriott International announced it has signed an agreement to debut its Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Slated to debut in 2023, Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will be the first property from the brand in the Middle East. https://t.co/y8QVNUm7cx pic.twitter.com/Sg38BxOqVO— Marriott International (@MarriottIntl) May 23, 2022
The images shared by Pagano shows the extended arms of the island with many of the outer shells of the accommodation already in place.
The island’s signature circular extension that is expected to act as a walkway to on-the-water rooms are also taking shape according to an aerial image.
As of March, more than 85 off-site manufactured beach and overwater villas have been fabricated and assembled on site. Combined, these resorts will offer 172 hotel keys, TRSDC said in a statement.
Work is well underway with the two resorts on Ummahat Islands. To date, more than 85 off-site manufactured beach & overwater villas have been fabricated and assembled on site. Combined these resorts will offer 172 hotel keys. #LeadingTheWay pic.twitter.com/Qmx7jBpsgj— The Red Sea Development Company (@TheRedSeaGlobal) March 30, 2022
Upon completion in 2030, the Red Sea island destination will deliver up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites, according to a statement from TRSDC in 2020.
The Red Sea Project is a tourism destination along Saudi Arabia’s west coast, and one of three giga-projects announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2017.
It is being designed to become a luxury tourism destination that will embrace nature, culture and adventure, while setting new standards in sustainable development. The project extends over 28,000 square kilometers on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
The GCC is expected to be home to more than a million hotel rooms by 2026 – with Saudi Arabia having the biggest share – as the region’s tourism industry grows, according to a report from the advisory firm Colliers International.
Saudi Arabia aims to welcome over 70 million tourist visits this year after drawing 62 million last year, a tourism official told Reuters in May, underlining the Kingdom’s concerted push to boost its travel industry.
The Kingdom has in recent years started to promote leisure travel as part of a strategy aimed at diversifying the economy away from oil, spearheaded by the Crown Prince.