Work has started on an eco-friendly 100-key resort in Saudi Arabia’s desert canyons of Ashar Valley.
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) started construction of the project following a partnership signing with environmentally-conscious hospitality Habitas.
The first phase of the resort will be completed in Q1 2021, bringing an additional 50 keys to the Kingdom’s massive tourism development project.
Designed to blend seamlessly with AlUla’s landscape and heritage, the resort will also emphasise experiential luxury through unique, culturally engaging, authentic experiences that immerse guests in the environment, heritage and people of the AlUla region.
Habitas uses what it calls a "unique vertical integration" of design, off-site modular construction and operations that allow it to create its hotels using sustainable materials.
Manufacturing takes place in Mexico and projects are delivered and assembled on-site, minimising its impact on the environment.
AlUla is set to open in October this year, eventually boasting 9,400 hotel keys by 2035.
From then, visitors will be able to access four key heritage sites including Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008; Dadan, one of the most developed 1st millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula; Jabal Ikmah, often referred to as the ‘Lihyanite library’; and Old Town, the ancient walled city of AlUla.
It's one of the Kingdon's ongoing 'giga-projects,' which include AMAALA, a destination on Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast that will be made up of three communities - Triple Bay, The Island, and The Coastal Development.
International architectural firm Denniston has been appointed as the master planners for The Island and its French-Belgian architect Jean-Michel Gathy will lead the design of AMAALA's The Island community.