New destination, AMAALA, coming to life in the Kingdom
Progress updates on the ultra-luxury tourism destination AMAALA have been revealed this month spanning design and ongoing construction efforts. Led by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), AMAALA is on track to welcome its first guests in 2024.
Construction activity on site continues to ramp up, along with the required procurement efforts, including over 300 contracts signed to date, worth in excess of SAR 6.62 billion ($1.7bn). More than 98% of the total contract value has been awarded to Saudi firms, in line with the organization’s commitment to strengthening the local economy.
These include agreements for the design and build of state-of-the-art accommodations and facilities at the destination for future employees. An additional 6.1 billion riyals of contracts is currently out to tender, across 54 proposals.
AMAALA recently revealed design plans for its state-of-the-art marine life institute. Created by world-class architectural design firm Foster + Partners, it will function as both a scientific research center and a tourist destination.
It will accelerate conservation-driven research while offering visitors truly multidimensional experiences that bridge educational exhibitions with adventure-filled excursions.
“We wanted to design a first-of-its-kind facility that extends far beyond any existing marine life attraction. With 10 zones that provide everything from augmented reality experiences to night diving, and spaces for the scientific community to effectively progress their environmental projects, the marine life institute is undeniably unique. Not only will it drive global green and blue innovations, it will also help put Saudi Arabia on the map for travelers seeking trips that enrich their lives,” explained Group CEO, John Pagano.
“The institute will live in the Triple Bay marina at AMAALA, but is the beating heart of our broader ambitions to protect and enhance the thriving Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Through our expanding portfolio of projects, we will share our valuable scientific discoveries with the world and enable our guests to experience the true beauty of our thriving coral reefs.”
Expected to host up to 650 people at any one time, guests will be able to walk underwater, snorkel with rare species, participate in lab tours and dive into the depths of the Red Sea in a submarine. A testament to TRSDC’s coral farming operations, the facility will also be home to one of the world’s largest man-made reefs, measuring an astonishing 40 meters long and 10 meters deep and providing an epic “Grand Reveal” moment for visitors on arrival.
Located on the waterfront of Triple Bay, the 10,340 square meter institute will comprise three levels – one above ground and two below – and offer stunning panoramic views of the Red Sea and the marina.
Inspired by the Red Sea’s thriving coral formations, the glass-reinforced concrete that is being used to build the institute will be intricately molded to resemble reef patterns against the skyline. Inside, exhibition displays have also been integrated into the infrastructure, with visitors flanked by suspended semi-spherical tanks containing colorful local marine wildlife from the point of entry.
More than 40 percent of the site will be covered by native plants, and a system to collect runoff water put in place to prevent erosion and pollution while reducing mains water use.
Meanwhile, lighting throughout the institute has also been designed with the company’s green ambitions in mind, with an innovative framework to prevent light pollution to protect the nocturnal environment.
Site preparation works have already commenced with bulk earthworks now complete and 170,000 cubic meters of soil transported. Piling and shoring efforts are underway, plus the excavation of 12m below the surface water level for the institute’s Grand Reveal aquarium.