Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations, The Red Sea and Amaala, has announced it will operate its own luxury hotel brand at The Red Sea destination, named Shebara.
Revealed at the World Travel Market in London, Shebara will open in summer 2024 and is the first resort to be owned and operated by RSG at The Red Sea destination. Located on Sheybarah Island in the thriving Al Wajh Lagoon, the resort is home to iconic stainless steel orbs, and is now actively recruiting a world-class operational team ahead of opening.
“It has long been our mission to extend our pioneering approach to regenerative tourism across a wider portfolio of brands and subsidiary companies, to create an ecosystem that will drive meaningful change in the global tourism industry. Shebara is a beacon for all that RSG stands for, showcasing the very best in Saudi hospitality while setting new standards in responsible development and sustainable operations,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of RSG.
Shebara joins an impressive roster of internationally renowned hospitality brands operating at The Red Sea destination, including St. Regis and Ritz Carlton Reserve, as well as Six Senses, which is receiving guests as of this month.
The Shebara reveal follows an announcement last month that RSG is also developing Thuwal Private Retreat, an exclusive, island destination that will also be wholly owned and operated by RSG.
Shebara is located on Sheybarah Island, which features a spectacular 30 to 40-meter reef drop-off close to the beach providing the ultimate spot for exploring ocean life. The resort contains 73 keys, including overwater and beach villas and guests arrive either by a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland or 20 minutes by seaplane.
The southern approach reveals the first stainless steel villas on the horizon, representing a string of pearls, with a stunning reception building at the center, forming the ‘pendant’. This incredible arrival point was carefully positioned within a natural break in the coral reef, providing a dramatic seascape whether arriving by sea or seaplane, while demonstrative of a broader commitment to sustainability.
There is both a family pool, and an adult-only pool, which includes ‘lily pad’ seating terraces with panoramic views of the breathtaking sunset. Guests can choose from two specialty restaurants, and the resort also includes a spa and fitness center nestled among the island’s sand dunes.
Additionally, the furthermost island is available to book exclusively, with a dedicated jetty for private yacht mooring. The island includes a four-bedroom villa, plus three one-bedroom villas, as well as a private beach and barbeque area.
Developed by Killa Design, the entire design of the resort centers around reflections of nature. Each space has been designed to flow with its environment, with the stainless steel villas reflecting the colours and surface patterns of the ocean and the intense colors of the sky as they change throughout the day. The overwater orbs are cantilevered over the water, which creates an effect of a string of pearls levitating above the water.
Shaun Killa, Design Director and Founder of Killa Design, said: “Shebara is a wonderful example of what is possible when creating beautiful yet meaningful design. It demonstrates how innovative architecture can gracefully flow into nature, with pods that reflect and refract light from the sun, the sky and the sea to naturally blend with the environment. From the eco-materials chosen to the lunar positioning of the villas, our priority has been to honor the natural beauty that exists here, while creating a resort that embodies modern luxury.”
Development of Shebara is happening at pace, with all 38 stainless steel overwater villas now in place. While the first overwater villa took nine hours to install, the developer perfected this process so that the last villa was in place in under two hours. So far 25 of the beach villas have been installed, and substantial progress has been made on the other front and back of house structures and infrastructure.
As with the whole of The Red Sea, Shebara will be powered by sunlight, day and night with its own dedicated solar farm, which includes more than 11,000 PV panels. In total, RSG has constructed five solar farms to power the first phase of the destination, with more than 760,000 PV panels installed.
The launch of Saudi Arabia’s latest hotel brand comes at a time when tourism in the Kingdom is experiencing remarkable growth. Tourism’s share of GDP has already shot from a modest 3% in 2019 to an impressive 7% since the launch of Vision 2030. The original target of hosting 100 million visitors a year by 2030 has been increased to 150 million because of the remarkable progress already made by developers such as RSG.
Last month The Red Sea welcomed its first guests. Two of its hotels are open for bookings and the Red Sea International Airport has been receiving a regular schedule of flights since September. Upon full completion in 2030, the destination will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland
sites. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, F&B, and leisure facilities.