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June 24, 2020

AMAALA selects mirage-inspired airport design by Foster + Partners

The airport takes inspiration from its dramatic desert environment and will accommodate one million travellers per year on completion

The international airport at AMAALA

RIYADH – 24 June 2020 – AMAALA, the ultra-luxury destination located along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast, has unveiled plans for a new international airport, with a design inspired by the optical illusion of a desert mirage.

The terminal and control tower design was conceptualised by UK-based architectural and design firm Foster + Partners, while the airport master plan was designed by Egis, an international consultancy and engineering group. It will incorporate unique design practices, drawing inspiration from its location. The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is estimated to accommodate one million travellers per year once it officially opens.

Commenting on the announcement of the new international airport, the Chief Executive Officer of AMAALA, Nicholas Naples, said: “A gateway to AMAALA, visitors will be greeted by personalised experiences from the moment they step off the plane. 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. This will be a unique space that personifies luxury and marks the start of memorable experiences for the world’s most discerning guests. We are delighted to work with Foster + Partners and Egis on this project.”

On approaching the airport, travellers will see stunning land art from the air. Entering the terminal, visitors will be greeted with a sleek mirrored edifice rising from the desert. The structure takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment, resulting in a mesmerising mirage effect. A spacious courtyard will anchor the terminal and will be complemented by contemporary interiors complete with unique artwork and tailored experiences. The airport will reflect AMAALA’s ultra-luxury hospitality spirit, providing an exclusive private-club experience perfectly encapsulating 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 as well as a ground transfer service that is accessible from inside the arrival hangar.

The international airport at AMAALA

Senior Executive Partner of Foster + Partners, Gerard Evenden, said, “Responding to the surrounding landscape, the terminal building will form an exclusive gateway to the AMAALA resort. The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club – luxurious and relaxing. Focusing on the themes of art, wellbeing and sport, the design seeks to establish a new model for private terminals that provides a seamless experience from resort to aeroplane.”

Middle East & South Asia Aviation Director of Egis, Jacques Khoriaty, said: “Along with embodying the luxurious spirit of the resort, the AMAALA airport meets the highest environmental design and sustainability standards, is operationally versatile and incorporates the latest airport technology and best practice standards on offer. It has been a privilege to have worked closely with AMAALA to define the requirements of this unique project and we look forward continuing our support all the way through to the opening of the airport in 2023.”

For the airport video rendering, please visit here.

About Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners is a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability, which was founded over fifty years ago in 1967 by Norman Foster. Since then, he and the team around him have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation for thoughtful and pioneering design, working as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse. The studio integrates the skills of architecture with engineering, both structural and environmental, urbanism, interior and industrial design, model and film making, aeronautics and many more – our collegiate working environment is similar to a compact university. These diverse skills make us capable of tackling a wide range of projects, particularly those of considerable complexity and scale. Design is at the core of everything that we do. We design buildings, spaces and cities; we listen, we question, and we innovate.

About Egis

Egis is a major international group in the construction engineering and mobility services sectors whose unique global service range encompasses infrastructure consulting, engineering and operation. Through our capacity for innovation, we respond to the climate emergency and to the greatest challenges of our time by offering solutions and acknowledged know-how in the areas of transportation and mobility, sustainable city construction, buildings, water, the environment and energy.

A 75%-owned subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts, with the remaining 25% held by partner executives and employees, Egis Imagine a sustainable future, working for populations and social progress. €1.13 bn managed turnover in 2018 with 15,000 employees.