In pics: Saudi reveals new luxury mountain resort as part of the Red Sea project
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In pics: Saudi reveals new luxury mountain resort as part of the Red Sea project

In pics: Saudi reveals new luxury mountain resort as part of the Red Sea project

Work on the 60-key property began in July 2021


Saudi Arabia has revealed the designs for a new luxury mountain resort as part of its ambitious Red Sea mega project.

Named Desert Rock, the 60-key property is located in the west of the country, and has been designed by Oppenheim Architecture.

Guests will enter the resort through a hidden valley located between the mountains. The architecture of the 48 villas and 12 hotel rooms within the mountain has been fully integrated into the rock to preserve its silhouette, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) said in a statement.

A range of accommodation will be available, from ground level options to crevice hotel suites midway up the mountain, and a select number of excavated rooms within the rock massif itself.

Most roads leading into the resort will be pushed to the edge of the main wadi and hidden behind landscape mounds.

Facilities at the resort will include a spa and fitness centre, remote destination dining areas as well as a feature lagoon oasis. Guests can hike, use dune buggies, and star-gaze as part of the activities programme. Local community members will also provide educational tours for visitors about the history of the area.

Site preparation is ongoing and construction began in July 2021, the statement said. It expects to start welcoming its first guests by the end of 2022.

“We wanted to create a destination that allows guests to experience Saudi Arabia’s untouched beauty,” said John Pagano, CEO at TRSDC.

“Desert Rock will provide guests with uninterrupted spectacular views while preserving the natural landscape.”

The resort has also been designed to reduce energy consumption and regenerate native flora, with water retention and distribution systems used throughout the site, the statement said.

Materials excavated from the site will be used to create the infrastructure.

Stone will be used for interior and exterior walls and floors, while ground stone and existing sand will be used for concrete aggregate, which is the main building material for all the architecture.

Chad Oppenheim, founder of Oppenheim Architecture, said: “Desert Rock is one of the most dramatic desert landscapes in the world, which is why we wanted to use the architecture as a way to honour and respect it. By utilising natural materials and integrating the resort into the rock, guests can connect physically with the destination.”

The wider Red Sea Project is a luxury mixed-use tourism destination which will be developed over 28,000 sqkm along Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 islands. The area also features mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites.

The project will include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure focusing on renewable energy and water conservation and re-use.

Also read: Exclusive interview: John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company and Amaala

Phase One, which includes 16 hotels in total, will complete by 2023.

Upon completion in 2030, the project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses and an international airport.

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