Sindalah, Red Sea’s new luxury island

In this article, you will find out more about Sindalah, NEOM’s plan to create the main hub for luxury travelers and yachters across the world with an area of 840,000 square meters, including 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms, five villages, and six sports clubs.

What is Sindalah ?

When talking about the world’s most famous yachting destinations, the French Riviera, Bahamas, Italy’s Sardegna, and Bermuda often comes to our minds. 

In 2024, this will change. 

Along with its many projects, NEOM is set to launch Sindalah, a luxury island located by the coast of the Red Sea and considered by Saudi Arabia’s authorities one of the most important projects supporting the country’s national tourism strategy for its Vision 2030 plan.

“Sindalah will be a taste of what else is to come at NEOM, so it’s hugely important in the wider vision,”
declared Antoni Vives, Sindalah’s Chief Urban Planning Officer.

The tourism hub reportedly covers an area of around 840,000 square meters and will have many features to attract visitors, including three luxury hotels, sports and beach club, 86-berth marina, and 51 luxury retail outlets. 

In addition to its many attractions, Sindalah and nature conservations walk together just like every project of NEOM, as the whole process of its creation will reportedly be built and managed according to the highest environmental standards. 

The clean energy strategy is firmly in place,” Vives said. The new luxury island is definitely a huge asset coming up to boost Saudi Arabia’s as well as the whole region’s economy sector, due to the fact that iit is likely to receive 2,400 visitors per day by 2028, and help the kingdom to reduce its dependency on the oil market.

The investment behind Sindalah 

Based on our previous articles, we are aware that Saudi Arabia’s government has invested at least $500 billion in NEOM. Starting from this point, it is not difficult to imagine that building a whole area for maritime tourism with yacht clubs won’t be that cheap either, right ? 

How much does it cost to build Sindalah ?

According to local media reports, NEOM signed an agreement with Riyad Bank for $800 million in debt financing in order to start the construction of its new idea.  

It is also reported that this is the first region of NEOM that was successfully financed with bank debt.

“The Sindalah debt financing signifies NEOM’s desire to diversify its funding sources, involve the private sector, and attract capital of all types in the development of NEOM. We have a number of projects currently underway and in the pipeline that represent very attractive commercial opportunities for the global financial community to participate in,”
stated Rayan Farez, NEOM’s Deputy CEO.

How much does Sindalah cost compared with other big projects ?

Of course, the amount of $800 million astonishes most of the human beings living on planet Earth.  

For example, with that amount of money, you can buy a whole private island for you and your family, the Cullinan Diamond, which is considered the largest ever to be found, or even sports clubs, such as the English football club Newcastle United or the Major League Baseball team Houston Astros.  

But if you compare what is likely to become one of the main tourism destinations in the world with other places, you will see that $800 million is worth the investment. 

For example, the Emirati government invested at least $1.5 billion to build Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. In the US, Georgia’s government spent around $1.6 billion to build the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is home to the National Football League team Atlanta Falcons and the Major League Soccer club Atlanta United

What are Saudi Arabia’s main objectives with Sindalah ?

As mentioned before, the whole project of NEOM is designed to reduce the kingdom’s dependency on its oil market and boost its economy through other features, such as the tourism sector.  

With Sindalah, thousands of visitors are expected to visit the region every day, which will cause the arrival of many investments to the area, including big players in the real estate sector and huge names in the hospitality industry.  

Apart from all these objectives, the luxury destination is also expected to create at least 3,500 jobs for the tourism sector and hospitality and leisure services.  

“Sindalah is a new frontier for leisure, exploration, and self-fulfillment. We want to provide new and improved experiences in this world, with sustainability, connectivity, and joy in mind. If we achieve this, anything beyond that would add value,” Vives stated. 

What are Sindalah’s main characteristics ?

sindalah city neom

We have briefly mentioned some of the characteristics of Sindalah, including its 840,000-square-meter area and its location by the coast of the Red Sea, but let’s look more into it.

Sindalah is considered a gateway to the Red Sea 

The luxury island will sit only 17 hours away by boat from most Mediterranean yachting destinations and is considered NEOM’s main entry point to the Red Sea.  

In addition to that, Sindalah will be approximately three to four hours away by plane from the big capital cities of Europe and around six hours away from 40% of the rest of the world. 

“In NEOM itself, people will be able to go from Sindalah to The line easily, with a population of more than one million by 2030. Plus, Trojena and OXAGON will be accessible through our impressive transport network,” Vives added.

A paradise for yacht owners 

The island is also being labeled by many industry experts as ‘a paradise destination’ for yacht enthusiasts due to its many features.  

The Sindalah Marina will reportedly offer 86 berths for yachts up to 75 meters, 75 offshore buoys to shelter superyachts from 50 meters upwards, a beach club, and various water sports activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, wakesurfing, and kitesurfing.  

“Sindalah will be NEOM’s first luxury island and yacht club destination in the Red Sea, providing a scenic gateway to the Red Sea that will become the region’s most exciting and attractive tourism location,’ declared the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS

A vibrant destination

There is no problem if you are not a yacht owner; you can still have a lot of fun on the island. 

The island will offer many attractions to its daily visitors, such as dozens of fine dining restaurants and three luxury hotels.  

Other than that, Sindalah will also include a spa and wellness center, nine premium casual restaurants with 38 unique culinary offerings, 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms, 333 serviced apartments, and three rooftop lounges.  

“The destination will create a new season for superyachts, a dream alternative for yacht owners who want to spend the winter in an easily accessible location,” said Luca Dini, the architect of the project. 

Top-notch golf courses

golf sindalah

The island will also offer an environmentally certified golf course with unique nine-hole experiences and 360-degree sea views.  

The play area will also include 18 tees, nine holes, a 280-meter driving range, and a 5,920-meter par-70 golf course. 

It is also reported that the IMG Golf Course Services team will be responsible for the management of the area, offering multiple membership options for its visitors and equipment.  

In addition to that, the space will also incorporate a luxurious gym, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and sports courts.  

“We have great expectations for Sindalah Island Golf Club and are looking forward to helping to deliver on NEOM’s vision for what will be one of the most picturesque courses in the region,”
declared Russell Hannah, Vice President of IMG Golf Course Services.

How are investors looking at Sindalah?

As 2024 is just around the corner, many investors, just like IMG, are already planting their seeds on Sindalah’s soil, and agreements have already been sealed with big names in the hospitality industry sector and real estate business. 

The island will offer its visitors year-round activities, including music events and culinary festivals, which will reduce its dependency on attracting tourists only when the summer season approaches and will improve the dynamic of the region.  

In addition to that, Sindalah’s strategic location is a cherry on top of the cake to attract maritime investments and yacht owners to the coast of the Red Sea, as the area is a key connection to other naval hubs. 

We will offer a great welcome and then they will truly understand what a beautiful place it is and how unique the experiences we offer will be” Vives mentioned.

Yacht-related companies are flocking to Sindalah

As anyone would imagine, several yacht-related companies are already making their first investments on the island. 

In August, JLS Yachts signed a partnership with Sindalah, being labeled as a ‘key partner superyacht agency’ for the island. It is also reported that other companies, such as BWA Yachting, based in Monaco, and Burgess, will also provide services to the island. 

We are very excited to be a part of this new development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at NEOM. Sindalah will offer superyacht clientele everything they want and need for a fantastic experience, and we will be on hand to make this happen,” declared Jonathan Hind, Managing Director of Burgess Middle East. 

The hospitality industry’s big names are also coming to Sindalah 

sindalah luxury

With the expectation of receiving at least 2,800 visitors every day, major players in the hospitality industry have already made their way to Sindalah, and huge announcements have been made in the past few months.  

In May, the Canadian brand Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts revealed that they would open a luxury resort on the island, featuring 225 rooms and suites with terraces overlooking the beaches of the Red Sea and 52 villas with one-to-four bedrooms with plunge pools and beach views. 

The American company Marriott also announced that they will open three properties in Sindalah, including the first Marriott’s Autograph Collection property in Saudi Arabia and two Luxury Collection hotels. The properties are expected to open in 2024.  

“The Luxury Collection and Autograph Collection Hotels properties will express their own unique personalities inspired by the exceptional natural landscapes of NEOM,”
stated Jerome Briet, Marriott’s Chief Development Officer of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Tourism-related activity partnerships 

In the beginning of the month, NEOM announced a partnership with the UK-based Dive Butler International company to provide aquatic and diving experiences on the island. 

According to local media reports, Dive Butler will operate a five-star Professional Association of Diving Instructors dive center in Sindalah and provide visitors with an experience both above and below water.

It is also reported that the company will operate electric and hybrid vessels that exclusively use environmentally friendly moorings, a measure in line with NEOM’s sustainable principles.

What does the future of Sindalah look like ?

Throughout the whole article, we have mentioned the grand opening of Sindalah in 2024, and the development of the island is remarkably rapid, according to local media reports.  

As we are entering December, the excitement around the unveiling of the island keeps growing among the tourism sector and investors across the world.  

Undeniably, the new tourism hub comes as a very strong competitor to well-established locations, such as the one mentioned in the beginning of this article, and it is likely to promote an enormous impact on the kingdom’s economy, along with the other features of NEOM’s project.  

“It will be a destination where travelers can experience the true beauty of NEOM and Saudi Arabia, above and below the water, making Sindalah the future of luxury travel,” MBS wrote. 

As time goes by, it is already possible to see from the coast of the Red Sea tens of thousands of vessels on their way to be part of the kingdom’s revolution in the world’s tourism sector.

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