The kingdom is launching the Coral Bloom project, which aims to develop the country’s tourism offer in a sustainable and responsible way.
The coronavirus pandemic has not dampened Saudi Arabia’s tourism ambitions. The kingdom has just announced the launch of the Coral Bloom project, which will welcome its first visitors at the end of 2022. Located on the island of Shurayrah, gateway to the Red Sea, Coral Bloom will house 16 hotels at the end of its first phase of development, scheduled for the end of 2023. Construction of an international airport and the first four hotels “are already well underway,” according to a statement from The Red Sea Development Company, the company piloting the project.
When the project is completed in 2023, Coral Bloom will include 50 resorts, with some 8,000 hotel rooms, and about 1,300 residences that will be spread across 22 different islands, and six inland locations. Luxury marinas, golf courses and all kinds of leisure activities: Coral Bloom wants to become a destination in its own right. But a destination that is sustainable and respectful of its environment.
Return a net conservation benefit of 30% by 2040
This is one of the most important aspects of the project presented. According to TRSDC CEO John Pagano, “It’s important that [Shurayrah Island] sets the standard for groundbreaking architecture and sustainable design, not only for [our] destination, but also globally. We want to go beyond just protecting the environment and think about a whole new, more responsible approach.
Thus, the developments will be designed to serve the tourism product and protect the surrounding areas (creation of beaches and lagoons to fight against rising waters, protection of mangroves, construction of hotels in light materials, biodiversity …). “It is important to note that the changes mentioned are only aimed at preserving or improving the current environment of the island, without damaging any natural habitat or shoreline,” TRSDC assures. The company has pledged to return a net conservation benefit of 30% by 2040, to “continue the work of restoring and preserving the environment and the species that live there.”
On the purely hotel front, the establishments will be “nestled in the landscape”, showcasing the “spectacular nature” of Shurayrah Island, without buildings, and without interior corridors. Managed by major international hotel groups, they will have the least possible impact on their environment. With Coral Bloom, Saudi Arabia confirms its tourism ambition, which is part of a vast program of modernization of the country, called “Vision 2030”.
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