AMAALA, an integrated resort across three sites on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, has revealed plans for a new international airport – inspired by the optical illusion of a desert mirage.

“A gateway to AMAALA, visitors will be greeted by personalised experiences from the moment they step off the plane,” AMAALA CEO Nicholas Naples says. “From design to personalisation, this will be no ordinary airport.

“Immersed in the spirit of AMAALA, the airport will create an environment that embodies the philosophy of the destination beyond.”

UK-based architectural and design firm Foster + Partners are behind the terminal and control tower design, while international consultancy and engineering group Egis devised the airport master plan.

“This will be a unique space that personifies luxury and marks the start of memorable experiences for the world’s most discerning guests,” Nicholas says. “We are delighted to work with Foster + Partners and Egis on this project.”

“From design to personalisation, this will be no ordinary airport.” – AMAALA CEO Nicholas Naples

The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is estimated to accommodate one million travellers per year once it officially opens.

Those flying in and out from AMAALA will see the land art from the air, while visitors entering the terminal will be greeted with a mirrored edifice rising from the desert.

“Responding to the surrounding landscape, the terminal building will form an exclusive gateway to the AMAALA resort,” Foster + Partners Senior Executive Partner Gerard Evenden says. “The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club – luxurious and relaxing.”

The airport will reflect AMAALA’s ultra-luxury hospitality spirit, providing an exclusive private-club experience capturing AMAALA’s pillars of art and culture, wellness and sport, and sea, sun and lifestyle.

Among the list of amenities provided by the airport are climate-controlled hangars that will be available for private jets and a ground transfer service that is accessible from inside the arrival hangar.

“The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club – luxurious and relaxing.” – Foster + Partners Senior Executive Partner Gerard Evenden

Egis Middle East and South Asia Aviation Director Jacques Khoriaty also says that along with embodying the luxurious spirit of the resort, the AMAALA airport meets the highest environmental design and sustainability standards and incorporates the latest airport technology.

“It has been a privilege to have worked closely with AMAALA to define the requirements of this unique project,” Jacques notes. “We look forward continuing our support all the way through to the opening of the airport in 2023.”

Set in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve across three communities – Triple Bay, The Coastal Development and The Island – the 4,155-square-kilometre destination will include 2,500 hotel keys and more than 800 residential villas, apartments and estate homes, alongside 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness and recreational facilities.

The luxury wellness development is due to open partially by 2023.