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The Sustainabilist | CLIMATE CHANGE

INTERVIEW

Building Nature

The Sustainabilist talks to John Pagano, CEO of Red Sea Development Company, on opportunites and challenges of combining luxury and sustainability.

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he project is planned to open in 2022. What are the main priorities until the opening? What are the milestones that you are aiming to achieve by the end of 2019? The Red Sea Project is probably the most ambitious tourism development project in the world today. We are creating a luxury tourism destination on the Red Sea Coast of Saudi Arabia that will offer visitors a uniquely diverse range of experiences and at the same time will set new standards in sustainable development.

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Our main priority is always on protecting, preserving and enhancing the natural environment within which we operate. Our development plans are informed by a comprehensive marine spatial planning simulation that has given us a very clear picture of how the development and operation of the destination will affect the local ecosystems. So in designing and developing the site, we have to be sure that we are creating a destination that matches the expectations of modern luxury travelers while at the same time minimising our environmental footprint. With the master plan approved, work

is already underway. By the end of this year we expect to have completed the essential enabling works to allow Phase One construction to commence. That includes laying temporary roads, building a residential complex to house the first 10,000 workers who will develop the destination, build the jetties that we need to ferry materials from the shore to islands and begin work on the dedicated airport that will serve the destination. What do you think will be the most challenging work you will have to do until 2022?

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