From Oil to Eco-Tourism – Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ Giga-Projects
he Middle East is a huge growth market for Studio 104 and its core specialism of bespoke and luxury designer uniform. With client projects spanning the GCC, we are always keen to follow developments within the region - and as far as projects go, they don’t come more grandiose than this. Saudi Arabia has six separate giga-projects totaling $7 trillion USD investment, all planned for completion within the next decade.
Vision 2030 is Saudi’s long-term blueprint for redefining its global image and weaning itself off its reliance on oil revenue. Liberalization, economic reforms, and foreign investment are seen as key to the strategy’s success, with six ambitious landmark giga-projects forming the backbone to this fiercely ambitious plan. Here is a snapshot of what to expect from The Red Sea Development Company, Qiddiya, Aseer Development Project, NEOM, Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and AMAALA.
The Red Sea Project - a luxury, regenerative tourism destination that promises to set new standards in sustainable development and position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. The 28,000 square km project includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands and features sweeping desert dunes, mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites. The designs include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that emphasizes renewable energy and water conservation and re-use, and circular waste management system to achieve zero waste to landfill.
Activity for the first phase of development is well underway including a 100-hectare Landscape Nursery, which will provide more than 15 million plants for the destination, is fully operational, and 80 km of new roads are now complete, including the new airport road, to better connect the destination. The hospitality portfolio in the first phase will comprise brands from Marriott International (EDITION and St Regis), Accor (Fairmont, Raffles, and SLS Hotels & Residences), Hyatt (Grand Hyatt), IHG (InterContinental and Six Senses), and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.
Qiddiya will provide innovative and immersive experiences across five pillars; Sports & Wellness, Nature & Environment, Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture. A flagship Six Flags theme park will contain 28 rides and attractions, including a record-breaking ‘Falcon’s Flight’ roller coaster – the longest and tallest in the world - will carry thrill-seeking passengers at more than 155 mph. Also in development, is the Kingdom’s first water theme park. Featuring 23 rides and attractions, it is expected to be the largest in the region. Qiddiya will also feature luxury-tented retreats, animal encounters and outdoor adventure and exploration.
The Riyadh-based project is also establishing several arts and cultural centres, including an arts complex, festival grounds, a multiplex cinema, and a performing arts centre. The speed park will include an FIA grade 1 racetrack dedicated to motor sports fans, and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers of all time, will be open to both elite and amateur golfers.
Aseer Development Project
Tourist attractions on Aseer’s mountain peaks will transform the province into a year-round destination, exploiting the tourism potential of its abundant geographical and natural diversity, culture, and heritage. The scheme aims to provide new job opportunities, boost quality of life, and upgrade essential services and infrastructure in the region. Objectives include the delivery of 2,700 hotel rooms, 1,300 residential units, and 30 commercial and entertainment attractions in Aseer by 2030.
The $50 billion giga-project, inspired by At-Turaif, Diriyah Gate will anchor a vision for the future on a jewel from the Saudi past and will feature some of the world’s most luxurious restaurants and hotels, with all structures built in traditional Najdi architectural style.
The first phase of the project will focus on a landscaped park, Wadi Hanifah, and Bujairi Terrace, featuring 18 new restaurants, several of which will be Michelin-starred, while others will offer local Saudi delicacies.
NEOM - a giga ‘smart city’ project, located on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, is ‘a new vision of what the future could be; an attempt to do something that’s never been done before, coming at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solution - a destination, a home for people who dream big, and who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living’.
The project is being touted as the flagship of the Vision 2030 programme, but with predictions that include having the first residents in place by 2024, potential visitors might not even have to wait that long. There will be two cities within a city (Oxagon and The Line). Oxagon is the proposed industrial district, port, and the world’s largest floating structure, while The Line is a 105-mile linear city that will preserve 95 per cent of the nature in the area and is planned to have one-million residents. In line with its net-zero strategy, expect no cars, wind farms, solar power and cutting-edge technology that turns water into oxygen and hydrogen to use for fuel. There’s also talk of cloud-seeding machines creating artificial rain, the world’s largest coral garden and glow-in-the-dark sand.
AMAALA is an ultra-luxury project on Saudi Arabia’s north-western Red Sea coast, focusing on wellness, healthy living, and meditation. Its three communities will be easily accessible by air, road, and sea; and connected to the iconic marinas of the Mediterranean Sea.
The first phase of development is set for completion by mid-2024, and by 2027 there will be 3,000 hotel rooms in around 25 hotels as well as 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness, and recreational facilities, set across three unique communities: Triple Bay, The Coastal Development and The Island.
A commitment to sustainability is an integral part of the AMAALA’s brand promise, with an aim to operate with a zero-carbon footprint, powered by renewable energy with no connection to the national grid, sustainably source 50% of all food by 2030, and contribute to zero waste to landfill.
Just like the eco-goals of the projects included in Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision, sustainability is at the centre of Studio 104’s focus when creating new uniform for our ecologically conscious clients. Every step of our uniform creation has been considered to achieve a first-class sustainable approach, and is constantly refined with the latest initiatives, processes, and materials. To discover more about our 8-step ‘Future Friendly Uniform’, head to our Sustainability section detailing all the areas Studio 104 focus on for a truly sustainable approach to uniform. All of our projects align to this way of working - to see how creativity, quality, craftsmanship and sustainability combine to achieve world-leading uniform for the luxury hospitality and retail, view Studio 104's global portfolio.
Written by Ian – Chief Revenue Officer
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