Amaala, one of the numerous giga-projects which are set to change the face of Saudi Arabia, is currently coming to life in the country.
An uber-luxury destination on the north-western coast, the location aims to create an all-new concept for ultra-luxury tourism focusing on wellness, healthy living and meditation.
The new destination is a natural extension of the Mediterranean Sea.
The initial funding for the project will be provided by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which will spearhead the development of Amaala into a bespoke hospitality experience located within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve.
As the project progresses, attractive partnership and investment packages will be available for the private sector.
The PIF has announced that Amaala will sit alongside Neom and the Red Sea Project as part of the giga-projects investment portfolio, helping to establish a unique tourism ecosystem, supporting economic diversification and creating high-value job opportunities.
In addition, PIF earlier announced the appointment of veteran luxury hospitality and development executive Nicholas Naples as chief executive of Amaala, who will lead development and operations for the destination.
Naples stated: “Amaala will awaken the world’s imagination by rephrasing the current concept of the luxury tourism experience, especially in terms integrative wellness, specialty treatments and related recreational offerings.
“Our concept will provide a rich service offering that exceeds customers’ expectations by providing a comprehensive suite of services not commonly found in one location that is unique by all measures.
“The Amaala experience will be enhanced by its setting, spread across beautiful, untouched natural sites.”
He added: “Amaala represents a unique and transformational luxury experience where full-fledged wellness tourism is integrated alongside a curated mix of arts, culture, and sports offerings that are individually tailored for the ultra-luxury lifestyle, including the availability of a fashion scene, healthy-living services, and year-round sea expeditions.”
Amaala will feature extraordinary architecture and unprecedented luxury in both hotels and private villas as well as a quaint retail village and an academy of the arts that fosters the growth and development of young artists from Saudi Arabia and the region.
Cultural events, artistic performances and related conferences will bring international visitation to the region where visitors can partake in a wide array of unique and personalised holiday experiences set against stunning scenery, mountainous landscapes and diving in pristine coral reefs.
Marinas and a yacht club will excite yachting enthusiasts, attract boutique luxury cruises.
The retail establishments will boast an eclectic mix of galleries, ateliers, artisan workshops and bespoke retail outlets supported by a wide range of international and local signature dining venues.
As envisioned in Vision 2030, Amaala – along with the other giga-projects - will support the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and tourism industry, while promoting cultural conservation, ecological preservation and sustainability.
Last year Amaala signed a partnership agreement the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and Oceanographic Institute.
This deal followed a framework agreement signed last year at the Monaco Yacht Show to explore areas of mutual collaboration.
Together the partners will work on oceanographic and marine life research and conservation initiatives to benefit the world’s oceans with four opportunities identified for joint projects: coral reef management, iconic species protection, Marine Protected Areas enforcement, and fighting plastic pollution.
Naples said: “We are very selective with whom we align, as is the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
“Their mission to raise awareness of the impact of human activities on the natural environment, encourage more environmentally-friendly behaviour, and promote innovative solutions, makes the Foundation a natural fit for Amaala.
“We are committed to fully sustainable development throughout the design, build, and operation phases, which includes being net carbon neutral from the start of operations.
“We plan to create a coastal oasis that not only flourishes but a place that elevates the role of responsible tourism globally.”
This event marks the first partnership for Amaala which is anchored around the three pillars of wellness and sports, art and culture, and sun, sea and lifestyle.
Bernard Fautrier, chief executive of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, said: “The impact of human activities on the ocean has been devastating, and through our partnership with Amaala, we look to come together and raise awareness of that impact, integrating environment preservation and sustainability into the heart of the future.
“Monaco has long-been committed to the environment, and we look forward to working alongside Amaala to safeguard the biodiversity of the Red Sea, taking actions for future.”
Most recently, global polo star and Ralph Lauren model, Ignacio Figueras, has been named a brand ambassador for Amaala.
More commonly known as ‘Nacho’, Figueras is ranked one of the top 100 polo players in the world.
A regular on international TV programmes, the star has a huge global following and was once voted the second most handsome man in the world by the readers of Vanity Fair magazine.
In his latest role, Nacho will help shape the world-class polo facilities at Amaala and represent the brand at international polo matches.
“I have always said my mission in life is to bring polo to the world a little more, so the chance to help shape what will be the world’s best polo facilities is an incredibly exciting opportunity and one that I simply could not turn down,” commented Figueras.
“I will consult on the overall strategy including design, construction, operations, marketing and event planning of polo facilities at Amaala.”
As an ambassador focused on the sport of polo, Nacho will be tasked with establishing prestigious polo events at Amaala, as well as around the world through team sponsorships and other activations.
Naples added: “Our partnership with Nacho demonstrates how seriously we view polo as a component of the Amaala sport and lifestyle experience.”
Design of all polo facilities will be based on international benchmarks, and will include a suitable number, size and location of polo assets and other equestrian facilities to make it a world-class venue.
Amaala will be designed as a destination for those seeking transformative personal journeys that are inspired by the arts, wellness and the purity of the Red Sea.
Amaala will be created from a previously undeveloped stretch of Saudi Arabia’s north-west coastline between Dibha and Alwajh.