Red Sea Development Company names hotel operators

By Dominic Ellis
Red Sea Development Company announces nine hotel agreements at the Future Investment Initiative 2021

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has unveiled nine hotel management agreements with international hotel brands to operate resorts in its development first phase.

The agreements were unveiled on Day 2 of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) 2021, with the collection of hospitality brands set to operate nine of the 16 properties currently under development in the first phase and collectively feature more than 1,700 hotel keys of the total 3,000 planned for phase one.

These include EDITION Hotels (pictured) and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, part of Accor; Grand Hyatt, from Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury hospitality company.

The first phase will also include a luxury marina, an 18-hole championship golf course, entertainment and leisure facilities, as well as an international airport that will be accessible by 80% of the world’s population in less than eight hours and expected to serve up to one million passengers per year by 2030. Upon completion in 2030, the site will host 50 hotels offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and approximately 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

“Saudi Arabia is accelerating its development of a new tourism offering in the Kingdom, fuelled by the ambitious Vision 2030 program. We are proud to unveil our collection of unique and diverse hospitality brands that cater to this growing market and underpin our commitment to creating a world-leading barefoot luxury destination which will soon serve as a gateway to one of the last undiscovered places on the planet,” said John Pagano, CEO at TRSDC.

“Most importantly, such partnerships with globally recognised and respected brands signifies the growing confidence in our business, our flagship destination and in Saudi Arabia as a tourism destination.”

The announcement underscores TRSDC’s investment potential as Saudi Arabia continues its economic diversification in line with Vision 2030. By 2030, The Red Sea Project expects to host one million visitors annually, capped in line with its sustainability ambitions, creating upwards of 70,000 new jobs and contributing SAR 22 billion (USD 5.3 billion) to the nation’s GDP once fully operational.

Each brand at The Red Sea Project has embraced the vision of the project and have agreed to work together to collaborate in making the destination a success. The partners have welcomed the industry-pioneering sustainability standards of TRSDC and the broader commitment towards regenerative tourism development.

“Hospitality is the anchor of The Red Sea Project. We are determined to create a world-class luxury destination and the hotel brands we partner with play a crucial role in delivering on this ambition. Our partnerships are cemented through a collaborative framework that emphasize synchronicity between all brands. In doing so, we aim to create more value and maximize destination success, empowering stakeholders to benefit from shared best practices and economies of scale,” said Jay Rosen, Chief Financial Officer at TRSDC.

“The hotel management agreements unveiled today mark a significant milestone for us and we welcome more hotel operators, developers and investors to join us in our journey to build a thriving destination for visitors from around the world.”

The Red Sea Project’s first phase of development is on track for completion by the end of 2023, with a total of 16 hotels set to offer 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites. TRSDC expects to announce additional international hotel brand partnerships in the coming months.

“We are working with world-leading hotel operators who share our vision to deliver exciting growth opportunities for the Kingdom’s tourism and hospitality market, whilst protecting the natural environment, benefitting our local community and delivering extraordinary and immersive guest experiences. Our collective mission is to not only curate a hospitality portfolio of architectural distinction, but to also introduce our guests to new destinations and experiences,” added Pagano.

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