The designs for the overwater villas were mainly inspired by the natural surroundings, particularly the corals.

Dubai-based Killa Design, one of the region’s leading architectural design firms that have been creating innovative buildings, has been appointed to design the overwater and inland villas on Sheybarah Island, a key part of the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia.

The Red Sea Project is being developed by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC). Located in the southeast of the archipelago on the Red Sea, Sheybarah Island is the furthest from the mainland. It features a 30- to 40-m reef drop-off in close proximity from the beach.

The designs for the overwater villas were mainly inspired by the natural surroundings, particularly the corals in their purest form, which is reflected in the circular concepts. The circle represents unity, integration and wholeness, giving guests a sense of completion, confidence and harmony, said Killa Design.

The coral-inspired villas emerging from the surface of the water will be made of polished steel that will reflect the water, the sky and the reef below.

The inland villa designs were inspired by sand dunes, where each villa will be set apart to give guests a sense of privacy, it added.

Meanwhile, TRSDC has named leading Irish group daa International as the operator of The Red Sea Project’s iconic airport.

Under this agreement, daa International will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services.

“Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC. “daa International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring that our sustainability goals are met.”

According to Pagano, daa International will manage the operations of the airport during three separate stages. Stage One will involve ensuring that all airport designs benefit the customer, while Stage Two covers planning a full and seamless operational model for the airport when it opens to the public. The final stage will be to manage and operate this plan, maintaining the highest standards in customer experience and sustainability, and prioritising safety and security, he added.

On completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will boast 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include a luxury marina, entertainment and leisure facilities.