See Saudi Arabia's otherworldly Desert Rock resort come to life

Construction on the dazzling resort being carved into the stunning Saudi mountain landscape, is now 50 per cent complete…

When you combine Saudi Arabia’s tourism boom with a giga-project like the Red Sea, you get to see plans like this: a spectacular luxury resort embedded in the mountains of the Saudi desert.

It’s a bold idea.

And it’s one that’s now coming to life as part of The Red Sea Project. First announced in September 2021, Desert Rock is one of two inland resorts coming to the first phase of The Red Sea. While the initial plans for the property were breathtaking, the jaw-dropping videos of the resort coming to life show just how otherworldly this resort will be.


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The latest construction updates reveal that the resort is now 50 per cent built, and many of the key structures are now in place.

The 60-key, hyper-luxury resort is dramatically situated within the craggy rocks of The Red Sea, and is designed to blend modern architecture into the natural landscape. Rather than being built on a mountainside, Desert Rock is being carved directly into the ancient rock to preserve the striking silhouette of the surrounding environment.

Materials excavated from the site will then be reused to create the resort’s infrastructure. For example, the stone will be used for interior and exterior walls and floors. In addition, the ground stone and existing sand will be used for concrete aggregate, which is the primary building material for all the architecture.

Guests will enter the resort through a hidden valley nestled between the mountains.

Most roads leading into the resort will be pushed to the edge of the main wadi and hidden behind landscape mounds. This will minimise sound and light pollution, allowing guests to absorb the dramatic desert landscape fully.

Unique inland experience

Desert Rock will feature 48 luxury villas and 12 hotel rooms that offer uninterrupted spectacular views of the surrounding desert. A range of accommodation will be available, from ground level dwellings to crevice hotel suites midway up the mountain. A select number of excavated rooms will be located within the rock massif itself.

State-of-the-art resort amenities will include a spa and fitness centre, remote destination dining areas, and a feature lagoon oasis. Guests will also be able to hike, use dune buggies, and stargaze as part of the site-wide activities program.

The project also aims to maintain the site’s ancient history by hiring local community members to act as stewards of the land and provide educational tours for visitors about the area’s local history.

Phase 1 of the Red Sea

Phase One of the Red Sea will see some 16 hotels and resorts open by the end of 2024. Three properties – Six Senses Southern Dunes (the second of two inland hotels), St Regis Red Sea and Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will all open in 2023. By the end of 2024, a further 13 properties, including Desert Rock, will welcome guests. These also include properties from Faena, Raffles, Edition and SLS, plus the futuristic-looking Sheybarah Resort.

Images: Provided