Construction begins on Sharaan Resort and Summit Centre

i By June 8, 2023 No Comments

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has begun construction of its Sharaan Resort and International Summit Centre designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

The project will be built directly into the mountains of the Sharaan Nature Reserve in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Located near the city of AlUla, the resort aims to meet ambitious sustainability goals for the construction phase and resort operations.

Built into a mountain dating back 500 million years, the Sharaan Resort will offer 38 suites, a spa and wellness center, kids club, sport centre, all-day dining restaurant and business centre. In addition, a signature fine-dining restaurant will sit atop the mountain with panoramic views of Sharaan.

A glass elevator will connect the resort and deliver views of ancient sedimentary layers and niches filled with art and engravings, giving guests a unique geologic and artistic experience.

Inside an adjacent mountain, the Sharaan International Summit Centre will host events and leaders from around the world. Completely secure and private, it will include an auditorium, meeting rooms, majlis (sitting room), library, and a sport and leisure area.

The Summit Centre will also have 13 total hospitality pavilions and two private villas will be constructed nearby, giving the project a total of 53 hospitality keys.

Aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the Sustainability Charter for AlUla, the Sharaan Resort and International Summit Centre is designed in harmony with its natural environment.

Studies of the site have informed the design of passive strategies and natural geological heat transfer to efficiently cool the property in summer and provide warmth in the winter. The project also aims for zero wastewater by using potable water only when needed and by recycling all treatable wastewater for irrigation and other purposes.

Mohammed Altheeb, RCU chief development and construction officer, said: “Sharaan resort is our most ambitious project currently under construction. The resort was designed with complete reverence for the human and natural history of AlUla, and we are committed to sustainable building practices in line with this same philosophy. RCU and its partners are excited to unveil a new chapter in the story of these ancient mountains, where guests will experience the wonders of Sharaan Nature Reserve.

RCU has signed an agreement with Bouygues Construction, a French engineering group, to manage construction of the resort through a joint venture with Almabani, a leading Saudi engineering firm. Bouygues Construction brings a combination of experience in tunneling and construction of ultra-luxury hotels to the project.

RCU’s Development and Construction sector is spearheading this project with consultation from Canadian firm WSP and with program management support from Jasara, a Saudi firm.