DUBAI: The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the tourism developer wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has appointed DAA International as the operator of The Red Sea Project’s airport.
The Irish aviation firm will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services. “Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
“DAA International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring our sustainability goals are met.”
DAA International is part of the DAA Group, which operates and manages airports, travel and retail businesses in 16 countries. The Irish company has operated Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh since it opened in 2016.
Nick Cole, CEO of DAA International, added: “We intend to deliver a seamless airport experience for passengers, underpinned by a commitment to achieving TRSDC’s stringent sustainability goals. We’re pleased to play our role in helping to open up this new destination and wonderful country to the rest of the world.”
The Red Sea International Airport will serve one million passengers annually when the resort project is completed in 2030, working out a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour. The airport was awarded to architecture firm Foster + Partners in October 2019.
The Red Sea Project was announced by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in July 2017. Elements of the first phase of the flagship project are due to open in 2022, with full completion in 2030.
Construction at the project site is well underway and the developer last year announced it had awarded approximately 500 contracts valued at SR12 billion ($3.19 billion) to date and will reach SR15 billion by the end of 2020.
In 2022, when the first guests are welcomed to the resort, there will be four hotels initially, with 12 more scheduled to open their doors before 2023, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 3,000 across five islands and two inland resorts.
Upon full completion in 2030, the project will comprise 50 hotels offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.