What Is The Red Sea Project In Saudi Arabia?

As I searched online, I found it very tricky to get in-depth information about The Red Sea Development Company’s (TRSDC) new eco-project in Tabuk, on Saudi Arabia’s North West coast. The company’s glossy corporate website outlines the project very well with lovely videos and photos.

Watch John Pagano CEO giving a quick overview of TRSDC plans.Opens in a new tab.

However, the essential in-depth information is not easy to access. So, I set about doing my own research. What I found pleased me very much and decided to present it all here.   

The Red Sea Project Corporate Brochure WebsiteOpens in a new tab.

So What Exactly is the Red Sea Project All About?  

It is a series of premium, eco-friendly tourist destinations now under construction. It will comprise a chain of luxury villa developments along 22 Red Sea islands, beachfront resorts, a yacht marina, two inland retreats, 5-star hotels (48) with 8,000 rooms, a new airport, 75km of new roads, bridges, utilities and infrastructure with phase one set to be completed by 2022 and the final phase by 2030. Each year, it will host 300,000 Saudi, Gulf, and international visitors. 

The Red Sea Project is still very new and construction is now underway. Most people today will not know much about it. In the future, however, it will be known for its exclusivity, its breathtaking beauty and as an outstanding model of development in sustainable eco-tourism.

The Red Sea Dream

The Red Sea-Facts and Stats

FeaturesFacts and Stats
Client & DesignersRed Sea Development Company (TRSDCOpens in a new tab.)
WATG 75Opens in a new tab.
Buri HappoldOpens in a new tab.
LocationBetween Umluj & Al Wajh
Tabuk Province
North West Saudi Arabia
550km North of Jeddah
Project Area28,000 km2 (See Map)
200km of coastline
CostSR 10 Billion +
SR 2.7 Billion Now Allocated (2020)
Approx Target
Saudi/Gulf 50%
International 50%
Visitor Numbers300,000 -1,000,000 annually
Island Developments22 luxury villa complexes
(35% of Islands)
9 Special Conservation Zones
Resorts & # Beds 1. Shurayrah Island 2,500
2. Sheybarah Island 60
3. Ummahat Al-Shaykh 172
Inland Retreats & # Beds1. Desert Rock 75
2. Southern Dunes 80
3. Wadi Village TBA
4. Volcano Village TBA
New Airport70km North of Umluj
100 km South of Al Wajh
Hotels48 World Class 5-Star
No of Rooms 8,000
Main Touristic Attractions1. Mono Island Luxury Villas/Apartments
2. Beach Front Resorts
3. Yacht and Boat Marina
4. Luxury Retail Stores/Restaurants
5. Lifestyle Facilities and Entertainments
6. Tailored Cultural and Recreational Activities
Island Attractions1. White, soft sandy beaches
2. Clear, Shallow, Blue Warm Waters
3. World’s Fourth-Largest Barrier Reef
4. Yachting & Boating
5. Swimming, Bathing, and Scuba Diving
6. Turtles, Dugongs, Fish and Coral
Natural Attractions1. Pristine Islands & Palm Trees
2. Marine Life and Coral
3. Mango Groves
4. Volcanoes and Caves
5. Ancient Archaeological Sites
4. Ancient Petroglyphs and Treasures
5. Mountains, Canyons & Valleys
6. Gorges and Springs
Eco Touristic Value1. 100% Solar & Wind Power (Off-Grid)
2. 100% Carbon Neutral
3. Zero Waste To Landfill
4. Ban On Single-Use Plastic
(Bags and Bottles, etc)
5. Min Light/Noise Pollution
Sustainability Value1. Protect & Increase Sea Wildlife
2. 30% More Mangrove/Sea Grass Forests
3. Planting 15 Million Trees/Shrubs
4. Model of Global Eco Sustainability
Financial Value 1. SR 22 Billion Per Year Income
2. 70,000 new Jobs
3. New Town with 35,000 Workers
4. Unprecedented Investment Opportunities
5. Long term Reoccurring Income

Who Is Building The Red Sea Project?

Red Sea Project Partner Companies

The Main Players

The Red Sea Company

Meet Some Of The Designers And Architects

The Red Sea Project is being run and managed by the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) and associated companies.

It is a 100 percent closed joint-stock company and is funded and wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund. Watch this quick (30 secs) explanatory video about the PIFOpens in a new tab.

Click here to read The Red Sea Company‘s online glossy corporate overview.Opens in a new tab.

WATG 75 Designs

WATG 75 -Integrated Global Design Solutions

WATG 75 designers are world leaders in hospitality, leisure and resort destinations. Their work is innovative and uplifting.

Based out of Honolulu and 10 other international offices, the company specializes in Design Strategy, Master Planning, Architecture, Landscape, and Luxury Interiors.

Their intent is to design with the needs of the people and culture in mind. Their website tells us that:

We are consistently inspired by and celebrate the people, cultures and environments in which we work.


Click here to read WATG 75’s easy and very user-friendly corporate web portalOpens in a new tab..

Buri Happold

Buro Happold Team- Integrated Consulting Engineers UK

Buri Happold is a huge UK engineering service company that provides innovative solutions for the design, construction, and management of buildings, infrastructure and especially the environment.

Based in the city of Bath, UK and 27 additional offices across the world, the company specializes in the design and construction of massive public buildings such as Malls, stadiums, museums, cultural centers, sports arenas, exposition and performing arts centers.

This company is working alongside WATG 75 to help realize the construction packages agreed on in the RSDC’s Master Plan to include the initial phase one development of 14 luxury and hyper luxury hotels on 5 islands, 2 inland resorts, a new airport, a marina, leisure, lifestyle facilities, and important infrastructure.

Click here to read a very well laid out online corporate brochure for a great overview of Buri Happold’s activities and wonderful achievements including some details about its involvement in the Red Sea Project.

The Supporting Players


Dr. Carlos Duarte KAUST Professor of Marine Science Outlines TRSDC’s Environment Sustainability Intentions

Scientists and researchers at The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Riyadh have worked with TRSDC officials to create ground-breaking computer applications to help conserve, develop and enhance the wildlife and sea forestry in the 1,330 km2 area of the pristine Umluj-Al Wajah lagoon.

Their innovation is the Marine Planning Process which factors in the various uses of the marine environment related to energy needs, recreation, conservation, transportation, shipping, and aquaculture.

The KAUST software creates a detailed understanding of the lagoon marine environment showing how the development will impact it and how to best thereafter to manage conservation efforts so as to protect and enhance existing sea life and flora and fauna.

The planning process data was integrated to inform TRSDC‘s design plans in the development of sustainable luxury tourism while at the same time ensuring the health, conservation, and longevity of marine and coastal habitats.


Archirodon is a major international marine contractor company for the construction of ports, harbors, jetties, terminals, offshore rigs together with power, desalination and oil, and gas facilities.

It is a Greek-owned company with many operations in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

They will build crossing point structures to reach the island of Shurayah (the main hub island) to include two coastal jetties and four more island jetties to be completed by November 2020.

See the video of the company installing the first quay block.Opens in a new tab. Nice!

The crossing will comprise two causeways joined together by a linked span. The short route to Shurayah will be avoided since it has corals and precious marine ecosystems. Instead, a longer route is planned to take advantage of existing land masses that will help preserve marine life and ensure natural sea flows.

Causeway Linking Main Land Village with Shurayah Island

The farthest lagoon island jetty will be anchored in place on a floating platform to two pylons or ‘dolphins’ for the protection of coral reefs. Also, rock and modular building materials are to be prefabricated and erected on site.

The island will be only accessible by boat until June 2020 after which the causeway bridge structure crossing will be in operation. Click here to see Archirodon.Opens in a new tab.

Many other local companies are also involved in with Archirodon:

  • Providing labor
  • Suppling ready mix concrete
  • Fuel
  • Steel box girders
  • Cross bracing frames
  • Support Services

Nesma Trading KSA & Professional Landscaping Company (UAE)

Nesma Trading KSA
Professional Landscaping Company

A joint venture between these two companies Nesma TradingOpens in a new tab. and Professional Landscaping Company (UAE)Opens in a new tab. has designed and built an onsite landscape nursery spanning 1 million m2.

The nursery, the largest of its kind in the kingdom, will propagate and grow up to 15 million plants underground coverage, (including tuff grass) plants, bushes, trees, and palm trees.

Both native species tolerant of coastal and inland climates and desert varieties will be integrated with local the flora and fauna.

Water will be provided form reverse osmosis and carefully calculated irrigation control methods are to be rolled out.

ARCCO-Speedhouse (UAE) & Al Majal Al Arabi Group (KSA)

ARRCO-Speedhouse Building Solutions UAE
Al Majal Al Arabi Group

ARRCO-Speedhouse (UAE)Opens in a new tab. and Al Majal Al Arabi Group (KSA) Opens in a new tab.in a joint venture have been contracted to build a residential village for Red Sea Project workers.

Each will construct 5,000 units for the 10,000 construction workers who are working at the site.

The units will be of a high standard and made form prefabricated modular units for speed and positive conservation.

Saudi Amana Contracting

Saudi Amana Group

Saudi Amana ContractingOpens in a new tab. will build a 150 room hotel as accommodation for Red Sea project management workers and third party visitors during the phase one construction period.

It will overlook the sea within the Coastal Village. Later, the building will be repurposed.

HUTA Hegerfield & Saudconsulting Services (Saudconsult)

HUTA Groups
Saudi Consult

In a joint venture, these two companies are contracted to do major groundwork improvements in 1.5 million m2 of the Coastal Village area.

The first Opens in a new tab.will raise the ground and improve it. The second Opens in a new tab.will provide construction supervision, quality control, and consultancy services.

Foster + Partners

TRSDC Vision Of The New Airport

Fosters and Partners (UK)Opens in a new tab. will design and build the new technologically advanced airport that will receive more than 1 million tourists and visitors each year.

Routes will include both domestic and International and deal with 900 passengers per hour.

The design will be eco-friendly and sustainable and echo the natural beauty of the landscape and environmental vision of TRSDC.

Click To Read the Air Industry ArticleOpens in a new tab. To Know More About The Plan For The New TRSDC Airport Plan


EarthCam (USA) has been contracted to record the progress of the construction using a time-lapsed photography system. It will operate and film in 13 different onsite locations.

Time-lapse videos and photographs will document and tell the story of the development of the Red Sea construction by remotely monitoring and archiving the stages of construction.

The EarthCam technology has the power to put viewers right in the middle of the action even if they reside thousands of miles away. Viewers can use PCs or Smartphones to witness the construction action as it happens.

Click to see more examples of EarthCam in action.

Umluj Municipality, University of Tabuk, and Sakan NGO

Univerisity Of Tabuk

In collaboration with the three local companies (above), TRSDC will provide many training and jobs for local Saudi nationals at the landscaping nursery and other future projects.

Local residents in Umluj and Al Wajh will be equipped with the skills they need to work in various locations at the Red Sea Project.

Training includes basic English language at Umluj campus of Tabuk University Opens in a new tab.together with a six or nine-week on the job horticultural skills course at the TRSDC plant nursery for workers and supervisors.


Binyah Group

Binyah Opens in a new tab.was awarded the contract to design and build transport links that include 77km of roads, a 10 km highway, 13 km of airport access road, interconnecting roads within the Red Sea Project destination including an access road to the causeway bridge that connects the main hub island of Shurayah.

Al Falah Ready Mix

Al Falah Ready Mix

One of two concrete supply contracts was awarded to AlFalah Ready Mix (Riyadh) Opens in a new tab.company. It will supply structural low carbon, so-called green concrete manufactured using recycled materials that accord with TRSDC sustainability goals.

The mix should be able to withstand more than 100 years of local weather conditions,

700,000 m3 of concrete ae needed for phase one to build accommodation sites, the management hotel, residential utilities, and new infrastructure.

What Are The Main Goals of The Red Sea Project?

The Master Plan

Vision Of The Red Sea Development Yacht Marina at Shurayah

In the Master plan, RSDC aims to realize the designs and construction concepts and ideas formulated by engineers and architects from WATF 75 and Buro Happold.

Phase one is underway in 2020 with the construction of the base camp. roads, jetties, and the bridge to connect the island hub of Shurayah together with the residential complex for Red Sea workers.

Island With Jetties and Villas

Phase one will be completed by 2022 and the Final Phase in 2030. Here are the goals.

By 20225 Island Developments
14 Hotels
2 Inland sites
3,100 Hotel Rooms
By 203022 Island Developments
48 Hotels
6 Inland Sites
(Mountain Retreats and Desert Hideaways)
8,000 Rooms

The wider aims are to realize their construction targets whilst at the same time ensure that the ecologically sensitive areas are fully protected and enhanced during and after the construction phases.

The overall aim of the plan is to build the resorts using up to only 35% of the island space preserving and designating the remaining 70% to intensive conservation and specifically 9 islands as sites of significant ecological value.

A Pledge Of Biodiversity

Red Sea Wildlife and Forestry To Be Protected And Enhanced

Using special software developed by KAUST, the Master Plan was modified to take into account model simulations of the environment that have measured the effects of development and its operations on sea wildlife and forestry.

Results of the simulations factored into the Master Plan impacted a series of special provisions designed to protect, preserve and enhance the environment and include the following.

Mangrove, Seagrass and Algae Beds For Protection
  • 100% Production Of Renewable Energy Using Solar and Wind
  • Ban on Single-Use Plastics Such as Bottles and Throw Away Bags
  • Zero Waste To Landfill
  • 100% Carbon Neutral
  • Caps On and Monitoring Visitor Numbers

All the above will be made possible with the implementation of a massive Smart Destination Management System to analyze the impact of operations on the Red Sea ecosystem and to ensure compliance.

100% Energy From Solar And Wind Projects

Other General Goals Are:

  • To Protect the Environment
  • Establish New Standards Of Sustainable Development
  • Make Partnerships with Companies to Provide: 
  • Hospitality
  • Entertainment
  • Infrastructure
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

One of our goals is to become a world leader in environmental sustainability across all phases of development: planning, construction and operation. To achieve this will require that best practices in and governance are implemented and maintained long term.

Red Sea Development CompanyOpens in a new tab.

How Long Will It Take To Build The Red Sea Project?

TRDSC Promotional Video For Phase One

Building The Red Sea Project will take 10 years! Phase One of the project is expected to be completed by 2022. The Final Phase will be completed by 2030.

Why Is The Red Sea Project Being Built?

Rich Tourists Want Luxury And Environmental Protection

Saudi Arabia is the last undiscovered, unexploited and the least known tourist destination in the world. Its potential is huge.

Currently, religious tourism for Hajj and Umrah accounts for only about 3-4 % of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. Worldwide the figure is 10% of the global workforce.

250 million people are located in countries within easy reach of Saudi Arabia and it offers a multitude of breathtakingly beautiful, unspoiled locations of interest to nature lovers, adventure seekers, wellness and cultural explorers.

The target audience is a high end, high spending, and very demanding consumer willing to pay extra for an exclusive location, high-end services and levels of environmental sustainability not found anywhere else in the world.

John Pagano CEO of The Red Sea Development Company
Island Resort With Electric Golf Type Carts

It is known that travelers in the luxury market spend six times more money than normal travelers and take twice as many trips.

These people are tired of having to deal with overcrowded, overexploited world tourist sites and are seeking alternatives.

Modern luxury tourists want exploration, not exploitation. They want to be part of the solution to the problems of eco destruction and sustainability. They want their presence to add benefits to the environment and are willing to pay more to get it.

Where Are The Red Sea Project Development Locations?

Map Of Main Resort Locations

Island Developments

The Island developments will consist of 22 luxury villa/apartment resorts built in a long chain of developments on top of the Red Sea island archipelago which lies opposite the coastal towns of Umluj and Al Wajh.

See a quick videoOpens in a new tab. (30 secs) of stunning the islands.

The mono island villa developments will occupy a total of 35% of all the 90 islands available in the 200km long coastline.

Rich customers will be able to buy these luxury villas and apartments as recreational properties and own them privately.

On the main islands, there will be a yacht and boating marina. The island coastline will contain beachfront resorts, luxury shopping outlets, hotels, restaurants and lifestyle facilities.

TRSDC Employees Diving At The Resort Site Watch These Men DivingOpens in a new tab.

Armed with electronic wizardry and local boat captain expertise, design team divers dropped weighted buoys into Red Sea water as markers for drones to GPS map and locate spots for overwater assets, including villas, restaurants and hotel arrival points for two hyper-luxury hotels and one luxury hotel on Sheybarah South and Ummahat Al-Shaykh all just a stone’s throw away from the town of Umluj.

Natural Wonders

1. White, soft sandy beaches
2. Clear, Shallow, Blue Warm Waters
3. World’s Fourth-Largest Barrier Reef
4. Yachting & Boating
5. Swimming, Bathing, and Scuba Diving
6. Turtles, Dugongs, Fish and Coral

To Read About Natural Turtles, Exotic Fish, Dugongs and Coral Found In The Umluj and Al Wajh Area click through to read the following link entitled 15 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Opens in a new tab.VOpens in a new tab.isit Umluj In Saudi Arabia.Opens in a new tab.

TRSDC Concept Housing Pod

Development Wonders

1. Mono Island Luxury Villas/Apartments
2. Beach Front Resorts
3. Yacht and Boat Marina
4. Luxury Retail Stores/Restaurants
5. Lifestyle Facilities and Entertainments
6. Tailored Cultural and Recreational Activities

Inland Developments

Ahmed Al Ayed Basic Camp Currently Al Ula -Mada’in Saleh

6 Inland Tourist Destinations are in the pipeline.

Destination Location Completion
Desert Rock Retreat(75 Rooms)70 km North East
Of Umluj
Southern Dunes Retreat (80 Rooms) 100 km North East
Of Umluj
Wadi VillageTBATBA
Volcano VillageTBATBA

What Does The Red Sea Project Offer To Tourists?

Inland Natural Heritage and Beauty

TRSDC Visions and Concepts for New Inland Retreats

The Red Sea Project wishes to use and exploit both the region’s outstanding natural and historical features.

Ancient Civilizations

  1. Nabatean Civilization at Madaín Saleh (Unesco World Heritage Site)
  2. Ancient Trading Routes
  3. Ancient Incense Trail
  4. Maritime Spice Route
  5. Pilgrimage Route From Egypt to Mecca and Madinah

It will develop the ancient Nabatean site at Al Ula which contains the monuments of Mada’in Saleh a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provide tours to spectacular mountains, volcanoes, and breathtaking canyons and gorges.

Ancient Sites

Al Ula

A Ula Heritage Village

Of interest to tourists and visitors is the old walled town called Al Ula. Currently, it is called Al Deerah Heritage Village. It sits next to the existing town which has a current population of about 6,000 people.

It was ideally placed on a fertile oasis and on the ‘Incense Road’ a prosperous trading route for merchants carrying luxury items, spices, and silk through the Arabian peninsula to and from and Yemen, Egypt and India.

Al Ula got established in the 6th century BC by the tribes of  Lihyanites (Dedanites). However, there is evidence of more ancient people in the Bronze Age (Tumulus) Mound Tombs 2,000 BC which can be seen in the region.

The Lihyans ruled the area from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. The Dedanites occupied the area in the 6th and 7th centuries BC. They developed agriculture and prospered in trade.

About 500 BC a Babylonian King Nabonidus invaded and conquered the old Tabuk region subjugating Tayma, Dedan and Yathrib (Old Medinah).

The (Lihyan) Nabataean people inhabited the region until Petra (currently Jordan) their capital city was annexed by the Roman empire in 106 AD.

The Nabataeans then moved their base of power to Hegra (Mada’in Saleh) 22 kilometers north of Al Ula. They also prospered from the Incense Trade and made spectacular wall carvings those which can be seen today.  

In the 19th century, the Ottomans built a railway to connect Damascus with the Madinah. Along the way, there was a station in Mada’in Saleh and Al Ula. A line was built to the west side of Al Khuraybah close to the ruins of another ancient Dedanite and Lihyanite site still existing today.

Mada’in Saleh

Site Of the Many Ancient Rock Caves At Mada’in Saleh

In 2008, the United Nations made ‘Al Hijr’ or Mada’in Saleh a World Heritage site- a first for Saudi Arabia. It’s a bunch of huge sandstone rocks with ancient tombs dug out in them and located in the middle of a desert miles from nowhere. Turns out, it is a really important place.

It was known to have been inhabited starting more than 5,000 years. The first was the tribe of Thamud written about in the Quran. They lived there about 3,000 BC.

From 3,000 to 2,000 BCE, the Lihyan people settled and thrived very well indeed. They didn’t have Facebook back then so these people drew pictures and words (Lihyanite script) inside the caves which amazingly survives until today.

These people were good at growing crops making good use of the easily accessible freshwater wells.

They also did good business with the traders who passed by Al Hijr traveling back and forth from North and South Arabia selling their wares.

Then, by 100 CE the Nabataean tribes had truly taken over the area under King Aretas IV Philopatris (Harith IV) 9 BCE – 40 CE and made Al Hijr its second capital city after the well known Petra site. (Jordan)

The Nabataeans also did well and the city and urban areas grew large. They also developed excellent oasis agriculture exploiting the 130 rainwater wells they helped to develop.

What Are The Natural Attractions Available To The Red Sea Project?

The Red Sea

Umluj/Al Wajh Pristine Islands and Waters. To Read About Natural Turtles, Exotic Fish, Dugongs and Coral Found In The Umluj and Al Wajh Area click through to read the following link entitled 15 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Visit Umluj In Saudi Arabia.Opens in a new tab.

Mountains and Volcanoes

Harrat Al Lunayyir Volcano With Lava Fields

Harrat Al Lunayyir volcano is a basaltic field located on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia the entrance of which is 85 km east of the beautiful town of Umluj. 

The field is worth a visit and it contains the following features: 

  • 50 Scoria/Cinder Cones
  • Lava Flows Running North-South
  • 2 Lava Flows Reach The Sea

It erupted before the year 1000 AD. On 19th May 2009, 31 earthquakes (seismic swarm) occurred reaching a 5.7 magnitude.

It made cracks and fissures in the ground. 2,889 people were evacuated to Yanbu City from an area of 20 km around the volcano including 326 families. Because of the earthquake, it is Al Lunayyir could now be volcanically active. 

Click on the following link to read about the Tourists Guide To The 10 Amazing Volcanoes In Saudi Arabia.

Gorges and Springs

Al Disah Gorge

Al Disah Oasis & Gorge

Al Disah is a charming treasure of an oasis lying in a stretch of sand locked in by towering sandstone escarpments and breathtaking peaks.

It is a 4-hour drive north of Umluj. Turn right onto the B761 before you reach the city of Duba and head East over the mountain range for two hours.

Leave the town of Shuwaq on your right crossing over the main road B756.  Continue East over the great sandplain until you reach Disah.

It is a magical looking place. To reach there drive up the Wadi Qirqir river bed, lined with gushing freshwater springs and palm trees on each side until you reach a deep gorge area with high cliffs on each side. Dry in the summer, but usually gushing freshwater runs down its center in the colder months.  

Now get out of the car and take time to explore. Climb up the conical sandstone rock cliff faces rising up above you. Discover the ancient tombs hidden high up the cliff walls and witness the ancient petroglyphic artwork of human and animal figures (camel, ostrich, and antelope) known to be thousands of years old.  It is delightful.

Further, into the village, there is a Nabataean tomb that is sometimes open and you can visit it.  Further north out of Disah about 115km is the ruins of the ancient Nabatean Temple Rawafah Temple built in 166 BC in an area previously annexed by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and built in his honor.

Dramatic Canyons and Mountain Ranges

Example of The Many Dramatic Canyons in Tabuk Region

The entire Tabuk region is a veritable treasure of stunning mountain ranges, canyons, volcanoes that housed people and civilizations steeped in history that began more than 90,000 years ago.

A. The most impressive mountain ranges include:

  • The Grand Canyon at Al Shaq
  • Jebal Al Lawz (Almond Mountain)
  • Jabal Hisma (Hisma Mountain)
  • Sarawat Mountain Range (Madinah- Tabuk)

The Grand Canyon at Al Shaq

Odd Musrooming Rock At Al Shaq Canyon

The Al Shaq (The Split) Grand Canyon is a 4.5-hour drive north from Umluj. Head north along the Red Sea coast to the city of Duba. Then, take a right and drive up the windy mountain road to Shigry.

The Al Shaq Canyon is 3 kilometers after Shigry on your left-hand side after the Bronze Age 3rd millennium stone circles and ancient tombs.

Here you begin to drive off-road onto a number of tracks until you meet the northern end of the Shaq Canyon. From here you will be looking down into the canyon.  

You will see overhang viewing areas to take pictures of this amazingly wide and awe-inspiring canyon.

From here see if you can spot the mushroom-shaped rock down in the valley. It is a good idea to have sunglasses, binoculars, and a powerful zoom camera.    

What Are The Red Sea Project Financial Goals?

John Pagano’s (CEO) Key Note Speech Incentivising Ivestment

Job Creation For Saudis And Income Opportunities

  • SR 22 Billion Per Year Income
  • 70,000 New JobsOpens in a new tab. for Saudi Nationals
  • New Town with 35,000 Workers
  • Unprecedented Investment Opportunities
  • Long term Reoccurring Income
  • Education and Training

What Are The Red Sea Project Goals For Eco-Tourism?

Base Camp TRSC Site Visit 2019

Responsible Waste Management

  • 100% Solar & Wind Power (Off-Grid)
  • 100% Carbon Neutral
  • Zero Waste To Landfill
  • Ban On Single-Use Plastic
  • (Bags and Bottles, etc)
  • Min Light/Noise Pollution

What Are The Red Sea Project Environmental Sustainability Goals?

To Protect, Preserve And Enhance Coastal Wildlife and Sea Forestry

Click To See The KAUST Turtle Tracking Program VideoOpens in a new tab.

  • Protect and Improve Wildlife
  • Enhance and Increase Coral and Sea Forest Fauna
  • Model Of Environmental Sustainability
  • Protect & Increase Sea Wildlife
  • 30% More Mangrove/Sea Grass Forests
  • Planting 15 Million Trees/Shrubs
  • Model of Global Eco Sustainability


The Red Sea Project was inaugurated in 2017 and construction of the 13 various sites is only recently just underway in 2019/2020. A lot more exciting news will be available as the project unfolds and as the Master Plan is realized.

There is a lot more to report and more information regarding construction and achievements will be updated in this article as and when it happens.

Related Questions

How Do We Register As a Vendor With TRSDC? The company is very keen to work with like-minded companies who share the same values and outlooks on environmental and conservation issues. Click to see the vendor registration page.Opens in a new tab.

Will the same restrictions apply in the Red Sea Resorts? As visitors start to arrive, the resorts will ‘feel‘ different than the rest of Saudi Arabia. It will be self-regulated and regarded as a special economic zone with more ‘relaxed‘ social expectations and better tailored to international visitor tastes.

Why does the Red Sea Project want environmental protection and eco-tourism sustainability? Developing luxury tourist resorts in perfect harmony with the environment and enhancing conservation is at the heart of the TRSDC Master Plan. It meets the luxury market expectations and will preserve the Red Sea coast, maintain jobs, provide income and safeguard a thriving tourist market for generations to come.

What’s Been The Progress So Far?

The Snippets!

TRSDC Secures SR14.12 billion ($3.76 billion) Of ‘Green Finance’ Banks Loans

28th April 2021

The four banks are :

  • Banque Saudi Fransi
  • Riyad Bank
  • Saudi British Bank
  • Saudi National Bank
Four Banks Offering Loans To TRSDC

Get the details at Arab NewsOpens in a new tab.

#TRSDC To Use A Smart Lighting System To Control Energy Consumption At The Resorts To Get Dark Sky Accreditation

23rd April 2021

The goal is to reduce waste and minimum light pollution.

Myriam Yanez TRSDC Opens in a new tab.Lighting Expert

Get the details at Arab NewsOpens in a new tab.

#Watch A Time-lapse Of TRSDC Medical Facility Construction

13th April 2021

#TRSDC To Build Staff City Enough To House 14,000 Employees

12th April 2021

Contracting & Construction Enterprises (CCE)Opens in a new tab. will work with TRSDC to make the city infrastructure roads, pathways, and facilities at the staff city to be ready for occupation by late 2021.

Read Arab NewsOpens in a new tab.

Contracting & Construction Enterprises (CCE)

#TRSDC Awards A Building Contract To  Saudi Contracting & Construction Enterprises (CCE)

12th April 2021

Saudi firm Contracting & Construction Enterprises (CCE) Opens in a new tab.will develop infrastructure at the Global Village and create a series of walkways and paths to include earthworks and a utility hub building.

Daves ‘News details the offering.Opens in a new tab.

#The RSDC Diving Team Rescues An Entangled Turtle-Watch Video

11th April 2021

#TRSDC 150 Room Staff Hotel To Open 2022

1st April 2021

#TRSDC Opens A Central Medical Unit At The Construction Village Housing Complex

25th March 2021

Doctors and nurses will provide a full suit of medical service in lie with Saudi and International Standards.

Read the Construction Week Report Opens in a new tab.for details

#YD Yanko Design Offers A Vision Of 100 Villas Over 90 Islands.

24th March 2021

See the promo video and tons of design pictures of the villas and islands at Yanko Designs.Opens in a new tab.

#TRSDC Will Produce Carbon Zero Water Bottles Aptly Named SOURCE

23rd March 2021

How? They will use solar technology to extract pure water out of the air and transform it into quality mineral drinking water. The water will be stored and sold in reusable glass bottles.

Source.co install their hydro panel technology to produce drinkable water for a school in Africa.

TRSCD will make 300, 000 (330 ml) water bottles per year and use zero carbon and zero single use plastic bottles.

Read the blurb Opens in a new tab.at Business Wire. See the company that uses hydro panels in its the pure water making technology.Opens in a new tab.

#The Saudi National Center for Vegetation Cover (NCVC) Delivered 15,000 Seedlings To TRSDC Nursery.

21st March 2021

The Saudi National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification (NCVC), delivered 15,000 new seedlings to the Red Sea nursery to celebrate Saudi Environment Week.

The NCVC manages Saudi nationals parks, vegetation cover in forests, plant species protection, and desertification. They also conduct studies and research relates to vegetation. [/expand]

NCVC Members And TRSDC Nursery Workers Taking Receipt Of 15,000 Seedlings

#TRSDC Base Camp Has Gotten Bigger

18th March 2021

See The Time Lapse Of The Coastal Village Management Office Being Constructed

#KSA Is A ‘Lighthouse of not only how you plan, design, build, but ultimately operate critical infrastructure’.

15th March 2021

Theo Angelopoulos, Autodesk’s Senior Director for infrastructure and Business Strategy says this at the KSA Infrastructure Summit.

The Red Sea Development Company’s (TRSDC) The Red Sea Project, according to him are the “lighthouse and very innovative and forward-thinking projects.”

Theo Angelopoulos
Theo Angelopoulos

#TRSDC And What They Do With Waste!

14th March 2021

#Leen Kurdi from Madinah Is A Student At Prince Muqrin Univerisity On A Course Accredited By Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

9th March 2021

This is what she has to say about having a scholarship and being part of the TRSDC!

#MachinesTalk Provide SMART CITY MANAGEMENT To TRSDC Using loT and LoRaWAn Platforms

8th March 2021

Both are systems used to gather trend information from sensor deployment for supporting proactive and informed decisions. See what MachinesTalk can doOpens in a new tab.!

#Shurayrah Island (Dolphin Island) To Become Coral Bloom

18th February 2021

British architectural firm Foster + Partner’s vision for the new hub island is a natural washed onto the shoreline look. There will be 11 hotels and the design is 100% low-impact environmentally sustainable.

See Arab News report and the lovely artist’s impressions. Also, the promotional video below shares the vision.

#What Is Good Governance?

4th February 2021

Maryam Ficociello (TRSDC Chief Governance Officer) Explains How They Are Doing It Right!

All the TRSDC company players must abide by the same ethical standards. The four principles include:

  • accountability
  • transparency
  • fairness
  • responsibility

#TRSDC Receives UK’s BSI- ISO31000:2018 Certification For Risk Management

12th February 2021

 The BSI assesses business standards and offers certification that enables companies and organizations to create and use standards of best practice.

Read about this award at TRSDC.Opens in a new tab.

#Two Major Contracts Awarded For The Southern Dunes Site And The Island Of Ummahat Al Shaykh

3rd February 2021

The Saudi Construction Company Al BanawiOpens in a new tab. will take on the civil engineering and structural works to build 40 hotels on the islands.

The works for timber and construction planning and fabrication including supplies for a hotel on Ummhat Al Shaykh are awarded to the wood masters Blumer Lehman Opens in a new tab.company.

See TRSDC press Opens in a new tab.article.

Blumer Lehmen of Switzerland
Stunning Works By Blumer Lehmen, Switzerland

#Chief Projects Delivery Officer Ian Williamson Talks About TRSDC Work To Date

1st Feb 20210

Read the informative article Opens in a new tab.at the Magazine For Construction and Civil Engineering

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ian-Williamson.jpg
Ian Williamson Heading of Development at The Red Sea Project Company

#TRSDC Gets The LEED Award

1st February 2021

Read all about it here at the TRSDC Opens in a new tab.website

Congratulations TRSDC

#A Vision Of What The New Red Sea Airport Will Look Like

17th Jan 2021

Here Opens in a new tab.is what you can expect from the new Red Sea Airport-Pure Luxury.

Red Sea Airport Interior View

#John Pagano (TRSDC CEO) Becomes CEO Of Amaala Project Replacing Nicolas Naples

16th Jan 2021

John Pagano will now wear two hats; one as head of TRSDC and the other as the head of Amaala project.

Read more about the move at Arabian Business IndustriesOpens in a new tab.

#Daa International To Run Commercial Operations At The New TRSDC Red Sea Airport

7th January 2021

Operators of Terminal 5 At King Khaled Airport since 2016, Daa International will take management of commercial activities for TRSDC.

Read DFNI Frontier ArticleOpens in a new tab.

#Riad Bsaibes Discusses The Massive Boom In Offsite Modular Construction In Relation To TRSDC

6th January 2021

#Groundbreakers Video Series

28th Dec 2020

Expert marine biologist Marine Carlos Duarte explain how to regenerate the ocean environment and enhance its conservation value by 30%.

#TRSDC To Show Art Work Of Budding Saudi Artists

23rd Dec 2020

Can you weave, paint, take photos, or create original works based on the Red Sea themes?

Here’s a chance to get your work shown. Click to know more about TRSDC Art Competition and how to applyOpens in a new tab..

#Groundbreakers Video Series

22nd December 2020

Raed Al Baseet Explains How TRSDC Will Take Care Of The Red Sea Marine Environment

#TRSDC Gives Accommodation and amenities Contract To The Red Sea Development International and FMCO

17th Dec 2020

A Shiny, New Construction Village At TRSDC

The two companies RSDI and FMCO will provide maintenance, security catering, laundry, and admin services for 5,000 employees at the TRDC Construction Village.

See the great RSDI WebsiteOpens in a new tab. for details. See FMCOOpens in a new tab..

#TRSDC award a sustainable vehicle and fleet contract to MottMacDonald

12th Dec 2020

Global management, engineering, and development giant Mott MacDonalds Opens in a new tab.will handle vehicle and fleet requirements at the TRSDC locations.


#AECOM Infractures Firm Agree With New Airport Construction And Quality Control Services To TRSDC

10th Dec 2020

Work begins in January 2021 for AECOMOpens in a new tab. to manage infrastructure services for the world’s first airport powered by renewable energy and to be opened in 2022.


#Elite Graduates Become Employees At TRSDC

10th Dec 2020

After training, a bunch of high performing Saudi men and women get jobs at The Red Sea Development Company.

See the Twitter feedOpens in a new tab. video.

Three Of The Graduates

#Ahmed Ghazi Darwish, Chief TRSDC’s Admin Officer Discusses The Future Socio-Economic Benefits Opens in a new tab.Of The Red Sea Development Project

9th Dec 2020

#KIVERCO waste cycling experts Win the Red Sea Development Company, Recycling Plant

8th Dec 2020

See ME Construction News ArticleOpens in a new tab.


#TRSDC Plans To Raise 16 Hotels By 2023

15th Nov 2020

Middle East Business Traveler Twitter FeedOpens in a new tab. & ReutersOpens in a new tab.

#Kengo Kuma Talks About His Land Villa Designs For The TRSDC

9th Nov 2020

Kengo designed 100 villas to be built on land and water at the Ummahat Al Shaykh IslandOpens in a new tab. in Umluj.

Read a brief at Design BoomOpens in a new tab.

Map Detailing Showing Red Sea Project’s Area Of Work

#The Saudi Red Sea Project (TRSDC) Has Awarded SR7.5 billion ($2 billion) Worth Of Contracts To Date

Nov 1st 2020

(TRSDC) Awards SR7.5 billion ($2 billion) Worth Of Contracts

500 lucky companies based in 24 countries get project work contracts and the main transport infrastructure is now being constructed.

Read the breaking Arab NewsOpens in a new tab. article. The Red Sea Company tells it all in their NewsroomOpens in a new tab..

#TRSD Sign Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) With Fintech SaudiOpens in a new tab. For In House Capital Support And Business Development

Oct 4th 2020

Planned Fintech Development Activities In TRSDC

Fintech is the Saudi Monetary Agency‘s (SAMA) and the Capital Market Authority‘s (CAM) initiative (2018) to assist companies and industries to develop financial services technology in the kingdom.

Fintech support is given in the development of infrastructure to form the basis of the fintech industries.

Fintech empowers employees and builds entrepreneurship skills to enhance fintech systems and functionalities.

See TRSDC’s TwitterOpens in a new tab. press release.

PIF and The Red Sea Project

#TRSDC Scholarship Program To Study International Hotel Management

17th August 2020

Courses are available for young Saudis at Prince Mugrin University (UPM) in Hotel Management leading to future jobs in Red Sea resorts.Certificates accredited by the Swiss-based Ecole hôtelière de LausanneOpens in a new tab.

Courses At Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Click here for more details. TRSDC Scholarship ProgramOpens in a new tab.

#Sustainability Stewards Project Launched

13th August 2020

Local Saudi people hired to help protect and teach others about conserving natural resources in and around the Red Sea. 4 supervisors and 26 stewards to be employed.

Sustainability Stewards

For more details click Sustainability Project DetailsOpens in a new tab.

TRSDC Launches Design Competition For Students Registered At Saudi Colleges

27th July 2020

The Red Sea Company calls on all current architectural design students and fresh graduates with imagination and skills to design a community center at the future Red Sea coastal village.

The TRSDC’s Ecotectura Competition

For more details and to register click the following link. Ecotectura Competition Opens in a new tab.

#TRSDC Awards Airport (Airside) Infrastructure ProjeOpens in a new tab.ct To Two Saudi Companies in Joint Venture

13th July 2020

Red Sea Airport Flying Times

Nesma Opens in a new tab.& AlmabaniOpens in a new tab. will design the runways, pavements, control tower facilities, helipads, and roads.

#TRSDC Begins Offering Jobs Especially If you are A Saudi National Or A Woman

29th June 2020

For a long term career and be part of the TRSDC dream team of developing sustainable tourism and immersive luxury experiences in Tabuk. Click to view the vacancies.

10th June 2020- Onsite Hospital And Medical Facilities For 28,000 Construction Workers

Courtesy TRSDC

TRSDC awards contract to International SOSOpens in a new tab. to provide comprehensive medical services and assistance to all workers, staff, and Red Sea site visitors lasting 2.5 years. Read more at Construction NewsOpens in a new tab. and The Red Sea Development Company Announces Medical Services Contract AwardOpens in a new tab.

#Two Giant Energy Consortiums Submit Paperless Bids for RSDC Utility Packages

13th May 2020

Bids for making power, water, sewage treatment, and solid waste treatment were submitted to be made using solar, wind, bio fuel, and geothermal heat including seawater reverse osmosis plants for drinking and irrigation water. Read more at ME Construction News.Opens in a new tab.

#TRSDC’s MoU With Saudi Human Resources & Social Development Ministry

6th May 2020

 TRSDC signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development for one yearn with the goal of the enrichment of local communities through corporate social responsibility programs. Click to read the Ministry’s agreement.

#RSDC Drop Landmark Buoys

1st May 2020

Read the RSDC article Opens in a new tab.and see a video clip Opens in a new tab.of divers.

#HUTA Hegerfield Opens in a new tab.and SaudConsult Opens in a new tab.Make The Earth Move For RSDC To Kick Off Phase One

22nd April 2020

The new Coastal Village that will house 14,000 RSP workers will sit nearly 4 meters above sea level. To achieve that HUTA will dig out 2.6 million cubic meters of soil from a nearby hill, then transport it and lay it out on the site in order to raise the land.

The project is called Dynamic Compaction or Rapid Impact Compaction and will take 5 months to complete. Click to see a nice video clip of the earthworksOpens in a new tab..

#RSD Researchers Publish New Study To Show Possible 30% Net Positive Outcomes in RSD Projects

7th April 2020

Marine Spatial Planning Scientific paper was published in Frontiers in Marine Science to showcase how development practices can greatly enhance conservation efforts in RSD projects in the 2,081 km2 area of the Al Wajih Lagoon.

Click to read the article entitled Reconciling Tourism Development and Conservation Outcomes Through Marine Spatial Planning for a Saudi Giga-Project in the Red Sea (The Red Sea Project, Vision 2030)Opens in a new tab.

#Honolulu Oceanographer and Coral Reef Chief Joins RSP

29th March 2020

Dr. Rusty Brainard is appointed courtesy Professor of Marine Science at the Red Sea Research Center based KAUST’s Dept of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering. Click through to LinkedinOpens in a new tab. to read more about Dr. Brainard.

#Jetty Complete and 600,000 Tons Of Rock for Shurayrah

26th March 2020

600,00 tonnes of rock will form the foundation for a bridge that will join the Red Sea island of Shurayrah with the Saudi mainland and other jetties. Click to see the 16 secs video Opens in a new tab.of the site.

#Worker Cabins And Living Spaces Are Erected

17th March 2020

#Certification in Dark Sky Reserve

27th March 2020

TRSDC wants to become the largest Certified Dark Sky Reserve and will be accredited by Cundall Opens in a new tab.who will help develop a lighting strategy to create enough light on site that meets the tough criteria (reduce light pollution, and save energy) of the International Dark-Sky AssociationOpens in a new tab.. Click to see their site and criteria.

#Local Saudis Begin Work At TRSDC Nursery

16th March 2020

New Nursery Completed IN 2020 To Grow 15 million plants for TRSDC

45 freshly trained Saudi employees from Umluj and Al Wajh joined the Red Sea Company’s 1.5 million m2 landscape nursery to begin workOpens in a new tab..

#KAUST Program Launched to Protect Endangered Turtles

14th March 2020

After a turtle tagging program was completed in 2019, KAUST scientists with TRSDC have launched a turtle tracking initiativeOpens in a new tab..


10th March 2020

CISOC signs a contract with TRSDC to design and produce a Smart Destination Service platform and ICT Master plOpens in a new tab.an.

#TRSDC Investments Increase Triple in 2020

27th Feb 2020

Saudi’s TRSDC wishes to triple investments from $ 600 million in 2019 to $1.8bn to the end of 2020.Opens in a new tab.

#TRSDC Ups The Stakes

26th Feb 2020

Ian Williamson TRSDC Project Delivery Officer Tells Supply CompaniesOpens in a new tab. To Shape Up If They Want To Do Business.

#Rotana FlipMag Tells All

2nd Jan 2020

Rotana produces a fancy Online Flip Article Opens in a new tab.about TRSDC Ambitions in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

#Elite Graduate Program

16th December 2019

Elite Graduate Recruitment Day For Saudi Nationals in January 2020

Thousands of young Saudi undergraduate and postgraduates apply to join TRSDC’s Elite Graduate ProgramOpens in a new tab.. 16,000 applications were received.

Selected candidates will get on the job training and work experience at site offices. The five streams for the 24-month program are:

  1. Governance and Legal
  2. Environment and Sustainability
  3. Engineering
  4. Finance and Investment
  5. Strategy 

The program includes 70% job training, 20% mentoring & 10% classwork.

Read about the launch 13th January 2020Opens in a new tab.

#Brain For Brine Competition Winners Announced

13th November 2019

One Of Three Winners Of The KAUST Brain For Brine Competition Sarah Al Mahfoudh

KAUST and TRSDC announce three winners of the Brain for Brine competitionOpens in a new tab. for their innovative solutions for the sustainable disposal of sea brine.

#TRSDC Commits To Marine Debris Clean Up Program

24th October 2019

Red Sea Coastal Clean-Up Team

As part of the UN #ACT4SDG initiative, program activists will clean up the 28 km2 site and the Red Sea shoreline debris and rubbish and teach locals how to do the same.Opens in a new tab.

It will include the indigestible waste that sea wildlife consumes and detrimental plastics that eventually enters the food supply. See the short (30 secs) video clip of the clean-up in FrenchOpens in a new tab..

Salam Allekum! Hi there! Thanks for reading. Contact the Editor Mohammed Francis directly at insidesaudia@gmail.com with any questions or queries.

Mohammed Francis

I am a UK national, a college teacher, father of 3, writer and blogger.

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