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The Red Sea: an emerging superyacht destination
16th September 2023
Saudi Arabia is putting its Red Sea coastline on the map as a superyacht destination by investing in a host of exciting new infrastructure. With its year-round sunshine and pristine waters, the region offers an enticing alternative to the more traditional winter yachting hotspots. Camper & Nicholsons explores what this emerging destination has to offer.

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PROJECT X Luxury Motor Yacht for Charter | C&N
88.01m | Golden Yachts Athens | 2022
9 Cabins | 12 Guests | 28 Crew

From: € 1,200,000 p/w

SALUZI Luxury Motor Yacht for Charter | C&N
69.00m | Austal Yachts | 2003 (2014)
16 Cabins | 32 Guests | 32 Crew

From: € 480,000 p/w


The Red Sea: an emerging superyacht destination

Spanning an area of 2,220km, the Red Sea is home to seldom-dived shipwrecks hiding in translucent waters that never dip below 26°C (79°F). Seabed ruins from the Roman Empire to World War Two are patrolled by swirling packs of hammerhead sharks and coloured by gorgonian fans. Among the finest wreck dives is Iona. Sunk in Saudi Arabian waters during World War One, the scuba site sparkles on the seabed at 29m depth, guarded by titan triggerfish and bumphead parrotfish.

While such treasures of the Saudi Arabian coastline have been inaccessible to visiting yachts for many years, the Kingdom is now actively encouraging superyachts to cruise its pristine waters through easing regulations and a series of luxury coastal developments. Part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy of the world’s second-largest petroleum producer, the rising city of Neom will incorporate ten distinct districts hosting smart cities, luxury resorts, international universities, sports venues and trading ports — across an area the size of Belgium. And yachts? They’ll take pride of place when Neom’s very first district opens in early 2024.

This inaugural zone is the luxurious island of Sindalah. Soon, 50m yachts will dock in 86 bespoke berths, while boats of up to 180m may moor on serviced buoys offshore. Guests can dive from their deck into an ocean alive with 600 sea life species, all protected by strict sustainability rules. Alternatively, they can shop at 51 luxury outlets sited around the solar-powered island, then sip smoothies at the world’s newest Four Seasons resort.

The Sindalah project was led by superyacht designer Luca Dini. “We were involved from the earliest stages before the project was even called Neom,” he begins. The northern Red Sea is a prime location. “Sindalah’s strategic location near the Mediterranean allows travellers to conveniently access yachting destinations via the Suez Canal within a day, making it an enticing stopover,” continues Luca. The distance from the Greek Islands to Neom is 1,100 nautical miles. Superyachts enroute from Europe to Asia can also call at the newest marinas in Dubai, where Camper & Nicholsons maintains an office.

Dini’s design was inspired by Saudi Arabia, a historic nation with six UNESCO world heritage sites that is increasingly powered by robotics and tech. Sindalah splices ancient with modern. Dini tried to “reinterpret traditional substances and combine natural stones with digital devices”. Like his interactive stone column, “a sort of menhir made from quartz stones that generate chromatic, light and sound experiences when activated by humans”.

Dini planned the resort to “seamlessly harmonise with its natural surroundings, ensuring the preservation of the island's delicate ecosystem”. Sustainability is best witnessed under the waves. As the Red Sea receives just 60mm of rainfall per year, visibility is unparalleled. Masked butterfly fish try to out pose emperor angelfish, while giant trevally cannonball above the surface. Note that Sindalah is just the start. A constellation of 39 islands along 500km of coast will eventually become a yachting ecosystem containing more than 5,000 berths.

But Sindalah is just a tiny section of the mammoth Neom project – building continues on three more of Neom’s ten eventual districts. The loftiest new district, Trojena, is topped by snow-capped peaks. During winter, sub-zero temperatures will powder 30km of ski slopes at heights of up to 2,600m. Trojena is centred around a vast freshwater lake, where kayaking and music festivals will take place in the cool summer air. Year-round activities include paragliding and triathlon training on top of the Arab world.

The Oxagon district will be a catalyst for Neom's economic growth. A new city for new technologies will be centred around a next generation port connected to a digital supply chain. Landmark installations include the largest cruise terminal in the Red Sea and Neom Airport, from where jets already shuttle to London and Dubai.

Work continues apace on the largest district of Neom. The Line is a car-free residential zone stretching across 170km of desert, but just 200m wide. The towering settlement is clad in a mirrored façade, reflecting Wild West scenery and Arabian heat. The Line's nine million residents will be powered by 100% renewables amid a 95% natural landscape. Key figures in a Kingdom that uses over half its domestic energy consumption on air conditioning. A high-speed train track will escort residents from end-to-end of The Line in 20 minutes flat.

Will these nascent districts make a difference to yacht guests in Sindalah? If they wish to ski, stargaze, scuba or do business in a new global capital then the answer is yes. “Sindalah will create a new season for superyachts,” concludes Dini, “a dream alternative for owners who want to spend the winter in an easily accessible location.”

Charter guests can also experience this up-and-coming destination. Saluzi is a high-capacity superyacht that can escort 32 guests to the Red Sea’s most remote idylls, from Sindalah to secret shipwrecks in Egypt. An additional 32 crew support every activity across five luxurious decks with spaces including a gym, a spa, an open-air cinema and two Jacuzzi pools. A veritable flotilla of toys renders 69m Saluzi a prime Red Sea charter yacht.

Project X has an X-citing itinerary and is heading to the Red Sea in Octopber 2023. This 88m full custom superyacht of superlative standing offers the most indulgent and luxurious charter experience imaginable. Built by Golden Yachts and launched in 2022, Project X was immediately acknowledged for her unique design and high number of lifestyle amenities, including an award-winning design beach club with spa facilities, a lounge and fold-down balconies at the water’s edge. This innovative superyacht delights at every turn – the attention to detail and consideration given to maximising onboard enjoyment truly embodies what superyacht charter is all about.

Contact us for more details about this exciting destination and yachts available in the area.

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