Seizing on the rise of tourism opportunities in Saudi Arabia in line with Vision 2030, the Afyaa Group has partnered with ENVI Lodges to open and operate a circuit of three distinct ecolodges in Al Ahsa: the largest governorate of the Kingdom and one of the top focus destinations of the National Tourism Strategy. Each lodge will offer a distinct experience, immersed in the different natural landscapes of Al Ahsa.
The first lodge, set to open in the first quarter of 2024, is located on a privately owned date farm and will offer 25 biophilic pods with private plunge pools, nestled between palm trees. Al Ahsa is considered one of the largest producers of dates in the world, and the lodge will offer guests the opportunity to discover and experience this very special fruit in various foods, spa and bath amenities, agricultural and wellness activities, as well as arts and crafts workshops. The lodge itself will be nestled in a serene environment, with facilities inducing guests to connect with nature, whether it is at the restaurant, the common pool area, or the wellness centre and yoga deck. The kids club will be well integrated in providing educational and fun activities respectful of our environment, immersing children into the world of date farming. All guests will arrive to the property in a special 4x4 vehicle, starting their immersive journey before arrival.
“We owe it to our beloved Al Ahsa to showcase its beauty to the world,” said Mr. Abbas Al Saleh, CEO of Afyaa Group. Following the recent formation of the Al Ahsa Development Authority, headed by Prince Ahmed Bin Fahd Bin Salman, the Afyaa Group is proud to be among the first investors to fully align with the Kingdom’s vision for this area.
“Al Ahsa is perfectly suited for boutique eco-retreats,” Mr. Al Saleh added. “With the support of hospitality consultant Colliers, we selected ENVI, who are experts in this niche market and can turn our aspirations into realities. Together, we embark on a project to develop a new lodge circuit in Al Ahsa, which will be unique in its kind.”
The second and third lodges planned for the next phase will have 40 keys each and will offer completely different experiences, with one focussing on adventure and the other on family beach activities. The sites have already been identified and the three lodges will all be within a short driving distance from each other, with the farthest location being a 50 minute-drive away from the other two.
“We are so excited to start working on these unique lodge projects”, said Noelle Homsy, Co-Founder of ENVI Lodges. “This is one of the first three lodges circuit to be launched in Saudi Arabia, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better time to announce it, as today marks ENVI’s 1 year anniversary. Chris, my co-founder, and I would like to thank Eng. Abbas Al Saleh for giving us this opportunity and we look forward to achieving his vision in making Al Ahsa one of the trendiest experiential touristic spots in the Kingdom.”
The three lodges will be designed by an award-winning experiential design firm. “We want unique projects that have the ability to attract domestic and international guests looking for a memorable immersive experience,” Al Saleh added. “So we are partnering with the best in their field to deliver a unique offering in support of our country’s tourism objectives, particularly in the Eastern Province.”