Red Sea Development awards major contracts to build hotel and villa infrastructure

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Red Sea Project
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Saudi Arabia’s mammoth tourism project developer, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has awarded two major contracts for its hotel development to region’s contractor Al Bawani and Swiss firm Blumer Lehmann.

The developer said in a statement that the Saudi Arabian contractor will conduct civil and structural works across 40 hotel villas on the Southern Dunes site, while the Swiss timber specialist will carry out planning, construction and fabrication works for a hotel on Ummahat Al-Shaykh Island. The value of these contracts was not disclosed by the firm.

John Pagano, chief executive of the Red Sea Development Company said that the contract awards “signify the start of a new phase” for the mega tourism project as it advances into hotel development.

“The Red Sea Development Company has made significant progress in terms of the design and construction of key infrastructure to enable the development of hotel assets,” he further added.

The company stated that “Al Bawani’s work will help the developer to link villas, restaurants and central buildings within its resort and Blumer Lehmann will design and manufacture all engineered timber material for a hotel, overwater and beach villas, spa and fitness building, restaurants and an arrival building.”

This project is a core tenet of Saudi Arabia’s tourism strategy, which aims to raise the contribution of tourism to more than 10 percent of the kingdom’s GDP by 2030, up from 3 percent in 2020.

The Red Sea Development Company’s masterplan includes a 28,000 square kilometer site containing 90 islands and will contain 50 hotels with 8,000 rooms, a luxury marina, leisure facilities, and entertainment. Set to receive its first visitors in 2022, the project is expected to be completed by 2030.

The company, which is owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, is building 16 hotels with 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland locations, as part of a first phase to be delivered by 2023. The production of this stage would cost an estimated $7.46 to $7.73 billion.

Last month, the Red Sea Development Company has picked Dublin-based DAA International to run the project’s international airport. Further, It has awarded the airport design contract to UK-based architecture company Foster + Partners in October 2019.