Saudi Arabia unveils ambitious plan for Red Sea tourism project

Saudi Arabia has announced it plans to turn a significant part of its Red Sea coastline into a semi-autonomous luxury beach resort.


Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund plans to transform a huge part of its Red Sea coastline into an upmarket resort featuring 5-star hotels and luxury residences.


The fund is believed to have assets totaling approximately $183 billion and is set to soon receive a cash infusion after the share sale of state oil giant Aramco.


The project is part of “Vision 2030”, Saudi Arabia’s long-term blueprint for weaning itself off its reliance on oil revenue.


The resort, stretching across more than 50 natural islands, will exist under laws “on par with international standards” in an effort to draw tourists to the country.


Tourists will either not require a visa or will be able to easily obtain one online. The “semi-autonomous” area will ease strict rules applied elsewhere in the country.


A statement released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said: “The project will attract the world’s leading names in the tourism and hospitality sectors to harness its expertise, competencies and financial investments to enrich the experiences of this destination, provide more value to its visitors and maximise the economic gains of the Kingdom.”


Construction will begin in the third quarter of 2019 and complete its first phase in the fourth quarter of 2022.