Stunning renderings have been revealed for an island resort off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s part of a Red Sea ‘giga-resort’ that will ultimately span 22 islands and six inland sites.
The new designs are by renowned architect firm Foster + Partners and show its vision for Shurayrah, the gateway island to the enormous Red Sea Project, which will comprise 50 resorts when it’s completed in 2030.
Foster + Partners is calling its concept ‘Coral Bloom’, as the additions will ‘enhance what is already there’. And Red Sea Project chairman his Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman likes what he sees, because he’s given Coral Bloom his official stamp of approval.
The dolphin-shaped island of Shurayrah will be the gateway to the wider Red Sea Project, a new giga-resort on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia
The hotels and leisure facilities on Shurayrah have been designed by architecture firm Foster + Partners to ‘nestle into the landscape’
Pictured are Foster + Partners’ plans for a sea pool on Shurayrah. The architecture firm also plans to add new beaches and a lagoon to the island
Shurayrah will be the first island of the Red Sea Project to be developed, with Foster + Partners’ designs revealing what the hotels and leisure facilities will look like there.
Eleven hotels are planned in total and Foster + Partners has designed them to ‘nestle into the landscape’.
They have also been realised with Covid-19 concerns in mind – there will be no internal corridors, for example.
Eleven hotels are planned for Shurayrah. They have been designed with Covid-19 restrictions in mind – there will be no internal corridors for example
This is a rendering of the arrival lobby, which will give visitors one of their first impressions of the island
Above is how Foster + Partners have imagined a bedroom suite at one of the island’s hotels will look – all curves and natural colours
Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster + Partners, said: ‘Our vision for Shurayrah is inspired by the island’s natural state, with the hotels designed to give the impression that they have washed up on the beaches and nestled among the dunes almost like driftwood.’
On the leisure facilities front, Foster + Partners, founded by Norman Foster in 1967, has added new beaches and a new lagoon to the island, which is shaped like a dolphin. Plus, the renderings show plans for a photogenic new sea pool.
The firm added that the absence of high-rise buildings ‘will ensure the spectacular vistas remain uninhibited, while creating a sense of mystery for guests as the island slowly reveals itself’.
Regenerative tourism is also at the heart of Foster + Partners’ plans for Shurayrah and The Red Sea Development Company’s wider ambitions for the destination as a whole.
An aerial view of Shurayrah. Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster + Partners, said: ‘Our vision for Shurayrah is inspired by the island’s natural state, with the hotels designed to give the impression that they have washed up on the beaches and nestled among the dunes almost like driftwood’
Pictured is the design for a communal relaxation space at one of the 11 hotels planned for the island of Shurayrah. A sunset over the Red Sea makes for a magical background
John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company, said: ‘We expect guests to be awed by what they see when they first arrive at The Red Sea Project, enjoying a truly immersive barefoot luxury experience’
Pictured is a sunken seating area and fire pit overlooking the Red Sea. Scenes like this will be commonplace on Shurayrah Island by the end of 2022
Pictured is the sort of view that will be typical in a hotel room on the island of Shurayrah. The Red Sea Development company expect that there will be 8,000 rooms like this in the Red Sea Project destination by 2030
John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company, said: ‘We expect guests to be awed by what they see when they first arrive at The Red Sea Project, enjoying a truly immersive barefoot luxury experience. The Coral Bloom designs, taking inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia, promise to make that vision a reality.
‘Shurayrah Island is the gateway to The Red Sea Project so it’s important that it sets the standard in groundbreaking architecture and sustainable design, not just for our destination, but globally too. This is achieved by going beyond simply protecting the environment, to applying a regenerative approach.’
Given the green-light in 2018, The Red Sea Project aims to create a brand new ultra-luxury tourism destination between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh, around 770 miles (1,240km) from the capital, Riyadh, and 430 miles (700km) from Mecca.
Set within a 10,810-square-mile (28,000-square-kilometre) area that encompasses an archipelago, 125 miles (200 kilometres) of previously untouched coastline, deserts and dormant volcanoes, the new destination will eventually be home to 48 hotels.
The Red Sea Project has already passed ‘significant milestones’ and work is on track to welcome the first guests at Shurayrah by the end of 2022, when an international airport will also launch.
Pictured is the rendering for the Central Hub building at the heart of the island of Shurayrah, surrounded by trees and shrubs
Foster + Partners has called their design project for the development of Shurayrah ‘Coral Bloom’ as the additions will ‘enhance what is already there’