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Saudi’s Pink Sea World Confirms New Giga-Challenge Stuffed with Inexpensive Accommodations



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The grasp developer of Saudi Arabia’s super-luxury island tourism undertaking, The Pink Sea, is engaged on one other giga-project that may home extra inexpensive lodge choices and faucet right into a market — tens of millions of vacationers robust. Pink Sea World (RSG) group CEO John Pagano confirmed the event to Skift, including that it’s going to open earlier than 2030 and introduce hundreds extra lodge rooms to the dominion’s burgeoning tourism sector.

“Mid-market has an enormous market potential and there are some areas which are higher suited to that, nearer to bigger city areas,” Pagano stated. “Once we transfer to extra mid-scale, we’ll begin moving into the three-star (lodge) choices, completely different merchandise, completely different positioning, and completely different goal audiences. It’s about being strategic throughout the complete Pink Coastline.”


“As you get into the extra mid-scale choices, the lodge sizes get greater since you want that scale to make them financially viable. Our websites are very giant, many hundreds of keys.”

John Pagano. Credit score: RSG

The undertaking can be south of The Pink Sea, placing it nearer to Saudi’s second main metropolis, Jeddah.

In October 2022, The Pink Sea Improvement Firm rebranded as Pink Sea World, introduced at the moment it could be creating round a dozen extra websites alongside the Pink Coastline. This mid-market lodge hotspot is one among them.

“We’re mainly creating all the things south of Neom,” stated Pagano.


Tapping Into Spiritual Tourism

Positioned nearer to Jeddah, the brand new undertaking may search to attract within the metropolis’s many non secular vacationers. Jeddah is situated roughly an hour from Makkah, one of the vital areas in all of Islam. Final yr, Makkah obtained near 7 million vacationers, whereas Jeddah bought 6 million.

For a lot of non secular vacationers, their travels begin and finish with visiting the holy metropolis. However Pagano sees a chance for his mid-market undertaking to increase the stays of those pilgrims.

He stated: “Take into consideration the scale of that market, one and a half billion Muslims on the planet.”


“So if we are able to faucet into that market and have them make it a once-in-a-lifetime journey the place they do the non secular piece, which is vastly vital after which tack on a household trip at one thing that’s moderately inexpensive, I feel it’s a really deep marketplace for us. (Spiritual vacationers) are inclined to spend extra center and decrease finish of the (journey) market.”

Pagano declined to inform Skift the identify of this new undertaking.

We don’t know the types of brand name flags being planted on this new giga-project but. Regional operator Rove has informed Skift beforehand it may land in giga-projects, whereas Premier Inn Center East has stated the identical. Virtually all the worldwide operators have mid-scale manufacturers, assume Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton by Hilton or Hyatt Centric.


The Pink Sea Isn’t All 5-Star

The Pink Sea is RSG’s flagship improvement and a postcard undertaking for the crown prince’s tourism ambitions. It’s all about luxurious, with 22 islands being constructed on to create a “Maldives of the Center East.” When accomplished by 2030, it’ll have 50 lodges, 8,000 rooms and 1,000 residences. Costing tens of billions to construct, solely five-star flags have been introduced for the location to this point, together with Jumeirah, Rosewood, Grand Hyatt, 4 Seasons, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and even celebrity-favored get together model Faena.

16 lodges are deliberate to open by 2025, the remaining 34 will open earlier than 2030.

The primary lodge is already open, the Six Senses, situated inland within the desert, the place rooms begin at round $1,800 an evening. That’s related pricing to the 2 Six Senses resorts within the Maldives throughout quieter journey months. The St. Regis is anticipated to open earlier than the top of this yr.

Six Senses Southern Dunes. Credit score: IHG

Pagano was eager to “dispel any false impression” that The Pink Sea is solely a luxurious retreat, stating that some lodges will “successfully be four-star.”

He stated: “The entry-level into (The) Pink Sea isn’t all 5 star. Our entry-level is successfully four-star.”

In response to the CEO, these “four-stars” may embrace the Grand Hyatt lodge and Accor’s Fairmont in addition to InterContinental together with Six Senses — each within the IHG steady.

Pagano stated: “These are four-star merchandise in comparison with 4 Seasons and Rosewood and the others. Now we have a broader spectrum of merchandise. Accommodations will be a part of the higher a part of the chain scale, however it isn’t all five-star plus.”


Accommodations such because the Grand Hyatt and InterContinental may command round $500 an evening, whereas top-of-the-tree lodges will go into the hundreds, Pagano defined.

Properly-known, Western luxurious manufacturers comparable to these serve to make The Pink Sea a global tourism vacation spot. Notably, RSG is eyeing India, Western Europe and the broader Center East. Markets comparable to US and Canada are “extra of a trek” and maybe have higher notion points to beat when touring to the Center East.

Pagano stated: “I’m tremendous fixated on testing, enhancing, and ensuring issues work, so long as we ship on the promise, then social media will handle the remaining. As a result of phrase of mouth is our strongest strategy to talk, , what Saudi Arabia actually is. Most individuals who come (to Saudi) don’t depart with a foul impression. It’s convincing folks to come back within the first occasion.”


“That’ll get simpler as we begin to function and open extra of our locations,” he added.

Right here is each lodge confirmed at The Pink Sea to this point:

  • Desert Rock Resort — 60 keys (self-operated by RSG)
  • Faena The Pink Sea — 150 keys (operated by Faena/Accor)
  • Fairmont Pink Sea — 200 keys (operated by Accor)
  • 4 Seasons Resort The Pink Sea — 149 keys (operated by 4 Seasons)
  • Grand Hyatt The Pink Sea — 430 keys (operated by Hyatt)
  • InterContinental The Pink Sea — 210 keys (operated by IHG)
  • Jumeirah The Pink Sea — 159 keys (operated by Jumeirah)
  • Miraval The Pink Sea — 180 keys (operated by Hyatt)
  • Nujuma, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve — 63 keys (operated by Marriott)
  • Raffles The Pink Sea — 200 keys (operated by Accor)
  • Rosewood The Pink Sea — 200 keys (operated by Rosewood)
  • Shebara Sheybarah Island — 73 keys (self-operated by RSG)
  • SLS The Pink Sea — 153 keys (operated by Ennismore/Accor)
  • Six Senses Southern Dunes — 76 keys (operated by IHG)
  • The Pink Sea Version – 240 keys (operated by Marriott)
  • St. Regis The Pink Sea — 90 keys (operated by Marriott)

Extremely-luxury Pockets

Pink Sea World is an organization inside the nation’s Public Funding Fund, a sovereign wealth fund chaired by the crown prince that has greater than $700 billion in belongings — making it one of many greatest such funds on the planet.

“Now we have the capital,” Pagano acknowledged merely. Including that: “Pink Sea World might be the largest hospitality and tourism actual property developer on the planet.”


RSG can also be planning to launch further super-luxury tasks all alongside Saudi, with later enlargement seemingly within the wider Center East and abroad.

Sheybarah Shebara
Shebara Sheybarah Island. Credit score: RSG

The CEO revealed: “We simply have to seek out the appropriate kinds of tasks wherever they is likely to be that matches the general imaginative and prescient and values of the enterprise. So a dozen tasks in Saudi (and it) wouldn’t be a shock in the event you had just a few in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or some locations.”

“We’re already taking a look at Europe,” he added, however careworn that proper now, Saudi Arabia is the principal focus.

Along with The Pink Sea and close by sister undertaking Amaala, RSG is creating ultra-luxury websites comparable to Thuwal Non-public Island, which has solely 5 rooms. Pagano stated further ultra-luxury island tasks are a chance.

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