The Saudi Arabian Giga Projects: a guide

4 Jan 2022 by Tom Otley
Qiddiya Saudi Arabia 04-view-of-resort-core-and-speed-park-from-cliff-edge-overlook

As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 the government is planning several projects which are so large they have come to be called ‘Giga projects’.

Here is a guide to what we know.



Amaala is on the north-western coast of Saudi Arabia, roughly equidistant between Neom to the north and the Red Sea Project in the south.

Amaala is being developed over three sites located within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve: Triple Bay, Coastal Development and The Island. The development will cover an area of more than 3,800km2. and will have 2,500 hotel ‘keys’ and  some 700 residential villas, apartments and estate homes, plus over 200 shops, cafes and restaurants.

Amaala is separate from Neom and the Red Sea Project, but is described as being part of the new Red Sea ecosystem – which includes NEOM and the Red Sea Project and so all three projects are “intended to co-exist in a complementary manner to cover different target audiences by providing different offerings to match their needs” according to the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). Amaala, for instance, will have a high-end marina.

All three projects will be served by the new Red Sea International Airport (pictured), and at one point it seemed that Amaala would also have its own airport, also designed by Foster + Partners, though this seems to have gone quiet.



Aseer Development Project

Situation in Saudi Arabia’s Southern Region, the theme of the Aseer Development Project “The Arabian Highland” in the Aseer Mountains. This was announced in September 2021 though at present little more has been released.

Aseer Development Project 


Diriyah Gate

The new development north west of Riyadh is centred around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif. So far 14 international hotel brands have been confirmed, and it is expected at completion there will be 38 in total.

The Rosewood Diriyah Gate to open in 2025




Neom is also in the north-west of the country, but is less focussed on being a tourist destination and more as being a new vision of urban living. The location reaches to the border of Jordan where cool winds from the Red Sea mean that it is on average around 10°C cooler than surrounding areas and the rest of the GCC.

One intention of the development is to redirect Saudi spend abroad into Neom. Saudis spend $15 billion per year on tourism, $12.5 billion on healthcare, $5 billion on education and another $5 billion on general investment abroad. Neom is slated to welcome the first inhabitants in 2024.



The Red Sea Project

The Red Sea Project aims to welcome its first guests next year (2022) when the first hotels will open. Phase One, which includes 16 hotels in total, will complete by 2023. Upon 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, leisure facilities and an international airport.


The project is being developed over 28,000 km2  along Saudi Arabia’s west coast including more than 90 islands, as well as “. The destination also features mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites. The destination will include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that emphasizes renewable energy and water conservation and re-use.

The Red Sea Project

Qiddiya Saudi Arabia 09-aerial-9


Qiddiya is an entertainment complex being built to the south west of Riyadh. Described as “a place that enables the youth of Saudi Arabia to fulfil their ambitions”





Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia
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