The ‘Coral Bloom’ resorts concept for Shurayrah Island.

Global engineering giant WSP said its Middle East services unit has been signed up by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) to provide sustainability services for its visionary ‘Coral Bloom’ resorts at Shurayrah Island on the kingdom’s west coast.

As per the deal, WSP will also take forward the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process throughout the concept design, schematic design, and final design stages of the project.

This is the latest in a series of ESIA appointments for WSP Middle East at The Red Sea Project and demonstrates TRSDC’s confidence in the multi-discipline consulting firm’s ability, having qualified as one of TRSDC’s initial shortlisted framework consultants.

The Shurayrah Island resorts make up the majority of the 16 hotels in Phase One of The Red Sea Project, which is due to welcome its first guests by the end of 2022 and complete in 2023.

Development on the island, which is situated in the Al Wajh lagoon – home to one of the world’s largest barrier reef systems, untouched corals and a number of endangered species – will see the construction of a series of iconic resorts and associated facilities.

WSP Middle East is set to help drive TRSDC’s pioneering vision for sustainable tourism in Saudi Arabia following a new appointment to provide an ESIA for the regenerative tourism destination’s 11 unique “Coral Bloom’ resorts at Shurayrah Island, said a senior official.

The project incorporates biodiversity considerations at the core of its design and has been planned to avoid disruption to the island’s mangroves and other sensitive ecological habitats.

This appointment also includes a considerable ecosystem services scope of work which will comprise the identification and evaluation of habitats lost and/or created during the project’s lifecycle, she noted.  This will also support TRSDC’s overall aim in creating a net positive conservation benefit of 30 per cent for The Red Sea Project area within the next two decades, she added.

Meanwhile, TRSDC has awarded a contract to El Seif Group for providing facilities management (FM) services at its 1.5-million-sq-m Coastal Village, which includes management offices, villas, townhouses and apartments, and a 144-room hotel.

 Envisaged as a vibrant community and set in a prime location on the waterfront, it will offer a range of amenities and leisure facilities including fitness centres, beach clubs and dining outlets, plus a hospital and school.

 As per the deal, El Seif Group will be responsible for delivering FM services to 18 residential buildings, 200 villas and townhouses, and the management office at the Coastal Village, where 14,000 employees who will eventually operate the destination will live and work.

 “Like our guests, our employees are at the heart of our destination which is why the Coastal Village has been designed to set new standards in employee accommodation and welfare practices,” remarked John Pagano, the CEO of TRSDC. “By working with leading service provider, El Seif Group, we are honouring our commitment to provide our employees with the highest quality of accommodation and facilities which are both comfortable and secure.”

“The size and scale of TRSDC’s Coastal Village is incredibly ambitious and their commitment to go above and beyond existing employee welfare standards is impressive,” said Fahad El Seif, the Group Vice Chairman (Integrated Facility Management).

 To minimise TRSDC’s environmental impact, the Coastal Village uses the latest off-site manufacturing and prefabrication techniques to develop buildings, reducing the carbon footprint. It also uses eco-friendly, sustainable ‘green’ concrete on-site to minimise emissions throughout the construction process.

TRSDC has also signed up ADB Safegate to deploy its airfield and gate systems at the upcoming Red Sea International Airport.

ADB Safegate said the scope of work includes delivery of energy-efficient airfield lights, its market-leading Individual Lighting Control and Monitoring System (ILCMS) and Safedock T1 Advanced Visual Docking Guidance System (A-VDGS).

The airport project is part of The Red Sea Project, which has already passed numerous significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests when the international airport and the first hotels will open next year. All 16 hotels planned in Phase One will be opening by the end of 2023. 

Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 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.

Among other developments, TRSDC has appointed two industry experts – Frances-Anne Keeler (ex-Tourism Australia and VisitBritain) and Piers Schmidt (Founder of Luxury Branding) – to its global Advisory Board.  The new appointees, who have a combined experience of over 50 years in the hospitality and tourism sector, will play a pivotal role in directing The Red Sea Project towards welcoming its first guests at the end of 2022, said the TRSDC.

Keeler and Schmidt join the company’s existing international Advisory Board of eight world-leaders in business, investment, tourism, sustainability and conservation with immediate effect.