WHAT IS SINDALAH?
Sindalah Island is envisioned as a new way of doing things through sustainability, creating a main gateway to the Red Sea through its unique offerings and enriching experiences. The impact of the island is the creation of 3,500 new jobs in tourism, hospitality and leisure services.
When I speak of the main gateway, it is because Sindalah is one of a number of islands that will be created, each with a different vision and design. This one in particular is made up of 840,000 m2 . It is strategically located in the centre of the world, just a short flight away from the major international cities of Europe, the Middle East, the Gulf and Asia.
With a special focus on yachtsmen, cruisers and the nautical sector in general, you will be able to enjoy a host of activities and unique experiences in creative and inspiring places. Music, cuisine and fashion will also be one of the driving forces of the island, where the highest standards will be sought at every point. Its aim is to become the world’s leading nautical destination offering the best of the planet.
To this end, with a total of 3 hotels, it will have 86 spaces for its guests in the seaport area, in addition to 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms and 333 flats with top-of-the-range services. To this we must add 38 culinary offerings on the island through 40 restaurants spread across the island and a 6000m, 9-hole golf course under construction.
WHEN CAN I VISIT SINDALAH ?
The launch of Sindalah is imminent. Its opening is just around the corner in 2024. Once open, NEOM bay airport will be our landing zone and from there we can reach the island by boat. On arrival we will find 86 mooring areas as well as 75 buoys offshore.
CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Luca Dini is one of the designers and architects of Sindalah Island. In the media he stated that :
“Sindalah, through design, is the expression of a spirit that we have observed to be strongly felt in Saudi Arabia, a spirit of people closely linked to their traditions who look to the future with enthusiasm and dynamism. We are deeply fascinated by this. All of Sindalah’s assets are designed to bring people together and allow them to experience the great outdoors, in close connection with the beautiful environment.
Concern about the alteration and destruction of natural habitats is under constant scrutiny by the experts working in and with the giga-project engineers. Knowing the unaltered natural features of the island, the coastline and the existing rocks is, in the words of Luca Dini, Founder – LUCA DINI Design & Architecture, a “source of inspiration”, and each asset is designed to enhance the forces of nature: the sun, the wind and the sea.
“The buildings are designed like rocks, which have always belonged to the island and which nature has sculpted. Sindalah sand and seashells are the basis of the village’s building materials.
“Unique semi-transparent materials catch the light of the setting sun and light up the facades of the west-facing hotels. The beautiful coloured glass placed under the roofs of the promenade speaks the language of the corals and captures the reflected light from the sea,” Luca said.
On the other hand, Antoni Vives, the former urban planner of one of Barcelona’s city governments, is planning Saudi Arabia’s gigantic city-wall, also doing his bit for sustainability:
“As with all NEOM projects, our commitment to redefining conservation and preserving the environment comes first. NEOM is developing Sindalah to be a world-class destination that co-exists in harmony with the surrounding environment,” he said as head of urban planning.
In line with NEOM’s vision and purpose to promote new ways to prevent environmental degradation and regenerate nature, Sindalah will celebrate and protect the unique underwater flora and fauna of the Red Sea following NEOM’s model of a sustainable and circular economy. Sindalah will target several key sustainability certifications under NEOM’s Sustainability Policy Framework, including LEED Platinum and ENVISION sustainability certification in the hotel developments, and the landscape and golf courses will be GEO certified.
“The NEOM region’s seascapes and landscapes, diversity of species and habitats, and rich cultural heritage are central to NEOM’s vision,” said Vives. “We recognise with pride what this represents as a source of regionally and globally significant biodiversity and cultural identity, and we aspire to set new standards in environmental stewardship, both protecting and enhancing our natural ecosystem.”
Recreational boating is an important and increasingly popular economic activity around the world, but it can have detrimental effects on the environment.
Environmental impacts of recreational boating include the impact of anchoring on seagrass beds, engine noise nuisance, toxic products and the transport of alien species. Other impacts include grey water discharge, air pollution, fuel and oil leaks, sediment resuspension, sewage and marine litter discharge, artificial light emissions and animal feeding.
Marine dumping is common from ships, superyachts and other maritime vessels. As for NEOM’s stance on such behaviour, the regulations will continue to help preserve the area’s natural habitat, as Vives said Sindalah will undergo regular environmental and social impact assessments “to ensure ongoing compliance to allow us to correct course when necessary”.
“We also take advantage of environmental management systems during construction to minimise our impact on the surrounding environment and ecology,” Vives said.
“Avoiding and mitigating environmentally damaging behaviour is central to NEOM’s vision and purpose. Protecting our oceans and reefs is our top priority, and we will ensure collective compliance with NEOM’s environmental regulations within Sindalah.” The island’s mobility plan focuses on exploring environmentally friendly modes of transport, including electric and green energy vessels,” he said.
Finally, I would like to leave you this form in case you are intrigued by Sindalah after reading this article.
Thank you very much and see you in the next edition.