(CNN) – The design of the lavish new airport, which looks like a glittering desert dowry, was unveiled as part of Saudi Arabia’s multimillion-dollar plan to design itself as a major international tourist destination.
The airport will serve the new super-luxury resort of the Middle East kingdom AMAALA, a huge complex focused on wellness and sustainability that will extend to three places on the Red Sea coast.
It is planned to be fully completed in 2028, while the new airport should be completed by 2023, which would coincide with the opening of the first phase of the site. The terminal is designed to receive a million visitors a year.
The new structure is expected to carry almost exclusively wealthy travelers and is conceived as a mood statement that acts moody. Inside, there will be a spacious courtyard and an abundance of features that drive into that “ultra-luxurious” vibe.
“Given the nature of AMAALA’s very high to ultra high net guest profile value, our mobility strategy shows that more than 80% of AMAALA guests will arrive by air,” AMAALA Development CEO Carlos Wakim told CNN.
British architectural and design firm Foster + Partners is behind the striking design, which is clearly inspired by the optical illusion of a desert mirage. Egis Consulting and Engineering Group is planning the airport master plan.
Wakim says AMAALA worked closely with the designers to create the overall effect.
“Private experience in the club”
Inside, the airport is designed to be just as relaxed as it shows.
Kindly Foster + Partners
The team describes the airport as closer to an “exclusive private club experience” than a simple vehicle.
Wakim says he has in mind the lobby of a large hotel, and describes the terminal as “a place where people can gather, where work and leisure combine in an environment unrecognizable as an airport but as the beginning and end of ultraluxuality” a resort chosen for like-minded communities. “
The airport is scheduled to open in 2023.
Kindly Foster + Partners
There will also be hangars designed for private jets, as well as seats for commercial aircraft.
Wakim also believes the terminal will be well equipped to take social distancing measures if needed, stressing that “lobbies and salons easily allow for privacy and unhindered passenger flow.”
The airport will begin operations in front of the rest of the resort to facilitate preparations for the opening.
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