By Sam Bridge
UK-based Fosters + Partners wins design contract for airport to serve the Red Sea Project
The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind one of the world’s most ambitious tourism development projects in Saudi Arabia, has awarded UK-based Fosters + Partners the design contract for the destination’s international airport.
Announced at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, the airport is set to serve the one million annual tourists and visitors expected by 2030.
“Awarding the contract for the design of our airport is an important milestone and the first of the underlying infrastructure projects of the destination,” said John Pagano, CEO at The Red Sea Development Company.
The airport, due for completion in 2022, will serve an estimated one million tourists per year with a schedule of domestic and international flights, and a peak of 900 passengers per hour.
In line with the company’s sustainability goals, the airport will have an eco-friendly and sustainable design. Its architecture will be informed by the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape and represent the vision of The Red Sea project, Pagano added.
Asked how much the company has earmarked for construction spending over the next year, he told a news conference the amount was up to SR12 billion ($3.2 billion), on top of what has been spent already.
“What I say to contractors is that Saudi Arabia is where it’s happening. There’s going to be $1.5 trillion in construction spend over the next two or three or four decades and it’s a huge amount of construction. So this is the start of that process, set up now because there’s a long-term pipeline of work. We have enough work to keep most of these contractors busy as well but it’s bigger picture for them. So it is in their interest to make the effort to set up," he said.
He added that the company has not taken out any loans to date but was in the process of finalising more than SR10 billion senior debt package expected to be in place by the early part of next year.
The Red Sea Project is a new luxury hospitality project on the Red Sea.
The first phase of the development will include up to 14 hotels offering 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, as well as commercial, retail and leisure facilities and other infrastructure.
Upon completion in 2030, the destination will deliver up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites.