The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, also the Chairman of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), launched the concept of Coral Bloom this year. The Red Sea project is the most talked-about ambitious sustainable tourism project in the world. The prime concept of the design project is to embrace the natural environment of the island and display its grandeur to the world. The Red Sea Redevelopment Project envisions establishing a state-of-the-art global tourism station.

Hotel 12, part of the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia designed by Foster + Partners - Sheet1
Hotel 12 ©
Hotel 12, part of the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia designed by Foster + Partners - Sheet2
Lounge of Hotel 12 ©

The Red Sea project includes both the luxury villas and an airport designed by Foster + Partners and Kenzo Kuma Associates. The project consists of seven built typologies that will be erected on water and land.

The construction will take place on 90 islands between Umluj and Al Wajh on the west coasts of Saudi Arabia. The location of the Red sea Project single-handedly makes it one of the most globally intriguing projects aiming to be both sustainable as well as a world-class tourist attraction. 

The Project is designed to focus on zero waste to landfill, zero discharge in the sea, zero use of single-use plastics to achieve 100% carbon neutrality. This set of establishments is planned to run entirely on renewable energy without depending on the national grid. Aiming for balanced development, respecting the natural grounds, and conserving water and other natural resources, showcase the futuristic and sensitive approach of the monarchy. 

Hotel 12, part of the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia designed by Foster + Partners - Sheet3
Timber Structures ©

Foster + Partners is designing Hotel 12, on the Ummahat AlShaykh Island in Saudi Arabia. The head of the studio Gerard Evenden shared the design inspiration for Shurayra. On the natural landscape on the island, hospitality structures are designed to appear like washed-up elements on the beaches in the dunes of the white sand. He highlighted the importance of ways to approach sustainability. 

The cruciality of awarding people with choices and witnessing the reaction of the same. Complementing the approach, the designers at Fosters + Partners proceeded towards designing the Hotel 12 with a ‘Light Touch’ and Non-Damaging. The firm is also responsible for the design of 40 hotel villas, the coral blue resort project, and the airport. 

Hotel 12, part of the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia designed by Foster + Partners - Sheet4
Lightweight Timber Structures ©

The materials used in the Hotel 12 are selected to complement the prestigious site, which can easily sit on the water and the dunes without damaging it in any circumstance, hence the name ‘ Coral Bloom’. Hotel 12 is designed as a series of wooden cabins laid out on the land and water planned around a circular circumference. Some rooms are planned on stilts that will appear afloat on water, while others are embedded in the sand. 

The entire set of plans designed for the site revolve around preserving the existing biodiversity on the islands. Preserving the pre-existing mangroves and adding to the natural resistance to erosion, new habitats are designed to enhance the natural landscape covers. Attending to the updated residing in post-Covid guidelines, all the 11 hotels are designed to adapt to the traveler’s expectations post-pandemic.

Entrance to the Sea Landscape <span style="font-weight: 400;">©</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span>
Entrance to the Sea Landscape ©

Blended with the natural landscape, the design of the Hotel 12 allows the beauty of the island to rule the entire dolphin-shaped foregrounds with a new lagoon. This design puts up with the rising sea levels and simultaneously defends the project from the global threats of rising sea levels. 

Cohesively, the Architects at Fosters + Partners aimed to preserve the existing natural dynamics without harming the natural shores of the islands. This natural setting is utilized by the designers to add drama to the entire vision scape of the Hotel 12 landscape. The truancy of high-rise buildings ensured uninterrupted vistas for the guests at the Hotels, thereby creating a mystery for visitors as the island reveals itself steadily. 


Tina is an Architect and a Curator. She believes in balance and an admirer of the Prarie Style. She likes to brainstorms while ideating and curating. The ability to look beyond a defined use of material and molding and upcycling them is her USP.