The CEO of the Red Sea Development Company, John Pagano has been involved in mega-projects around the world, but “none of them will have the impact this will have on Saudi Arabia,” he said.
红海开发公司的CEO John Pagano曾参与过世界各地的许多大型项目，但他表示，“那些项目产生的影响都不会像红海项目对沙特阿拉伯产生的影响一样巨大。”
Along with the plan to build a futuristic metropolis at NEOM in the northwest of the Kingdom, and the Qiddiya leisure resort near Riyadh, it is one of the headline initiatives of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify away from oil dependency.
The project is certainly tourism, but with a big difference. Sustainability is being built into the project’s structure. It will be 100 per cent carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy via solar and wind power, and will make use of advanced technology to solve the storage problems that have so far proved to be obstacles to renewable energy. There are even plans for “artificial trees” to aid the carbon-capture process. Pagano said. “The idea is not to build as much on it as possible, and make as much money as we can. The idea is to protect it for generations to come.”
Luxury tourism is now the fastest-growing segment of the global market, and high-rolling tourists are willing to pay top dollar for one-of-a-kind experiences. Exclusivity will be set by limiting the number of visitors. Of the 90 islands in the region, only 22 are going to be developed, and annual visits will be capped at one million in 2030, when completion is scheduled. Those guests are estimated to come roughly 50 percent from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, and 50 percent from the rest of the world, with a big proportion from Europe and the experience-seeking markets of Asia.
“When the tourists get there, the resort will feel different from the rest of Saudi Arabia. It will be treated as other “special economic zones” in the Kingdom, with more relaxed social norms and an environment attractive to international visitors,” Pagano said.
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