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March 11, 2020

AMAALA unveils Denniston as master planner of The Island

Master plan to be led by Denniston’s internationally renowned multi award-winning French-Belgian architect, Jean-Michel Gathy

RIYADH – 11 MARCH 2020 – AMAALA, the ultra-luxury destination located along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coastline, has announced the appointment of leading architectural firm Denniston as the Master Planners for The Island.

Chief Executive Officer of AMAALA, Nicholas Naples, said: “AMAALA carves a unique positioning within the global hospitality portfolio, catering to select travellers looking for innovative experiential escapes. Our ambition is to create personalised experiences, catering to the individual needs of each guest. Entrenched in the philosophies of art, wellness, and inspired by the purity of the Red Sea, we are excited to be working alongside Jean-Michel Gathy and Denniston to bring to life our vision for The Island. It is here where our guests will embark on a transformational journey and feed the soul through arts and cultural offerings, with opportunities for philanthropic art co-creation”.

Representing one of AMAALA’s trio of communities, The Island will be the tranquil home of an exclusive art community, and an Arabic botanical garden bestrewn with sculptural pieces. The Island will house masterpieces across four key design elements: a contemporary art museum and academy, a Riviera-lifestyle artists’ colony, immersive artistic experiences, and art and sculpture co-creation opportunities.

Principal Designer of Denniston, Jean-Michel Gathy, said: “The Island development will be an immersive and interactive art-inspired jewel. Its lifestyle components, its landscaping, the museums, and art installations together with the art community will transform this island into the “Diamond of the Red Sea”.

It will feature many different venues for permanent installations or temporary exhibitions and artistic performances. The graphic layout of its spine will be distinctive from the air and will be recognised internationally as an iconic landmark. The project features all elements programmed and reflects the areas, numbers and facilities. This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.”

The active community of The Island will be anchored by an artists' village of working studios, artisanal shops, galleries, plus exhibition and performance facilities hosting a year-round calendar of immersive, and transformative works, representing the pillar of arts and culture.

Fully aligned with Saudi Arabia’s ambitions for the future, the development of AMAALA is being rolled out across three key phases, with completion of the destination aimed for ahead of the realisation of Saudi Vision 2030.

About Denniston

Denniston is a consulting firm structured to provide comprehensive design services in the fields mostly associated to the hospitality industry. The multi-disciplinary services of site planning, architecture, interior design and hardscape are reflected in the numerous internationally acclaimed hotel projects we have completed around the world in the last 30 years.

Jean-Michel Gathy, a Belgian national born in 1955, is the principal designer and personally conceptualises all design work since the Company’s inception in 1983. In April 2006, he was inducted into the “Platinum Circle of Hospitality Design” and honoured as an industry figure whose career and achievements have contributed to the world of hotel design. Mr. Gathy has on several occasions participated as a jury member drawn from a panel of experts for various project awards and has been invited as an official guest speaker at international forums.

The Company’s projects are also reviewed and applauded constantly in the professional press and often taken as reference. The project teams are motivated by leaders who have, in some instance, honed their professional skills with previous firms. The secret of our success is the collective collaboration of their work. They are David Ogilby, Cedric Richards, Walter Creffier, Ivan De Souza, Nash Johari, Elle Brooks, David Schoonbroodt, Sharifah Norashikin, Keiko Tsuchiya, Shick Kim Loong, Philippe Lemaitre, Diana Graça Oliva and Andreas Croitoru. In all we total 140 professionals hailing from 21 different countries.

Our clientele reads as the “Who’s Who” in the world of development for high end products. Our hotels and hospitality projects are conceptualised with the very best operators in the industry... Cheval Blanc, Amanresorts, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, St. Regis, Armani, Mandarin Oriental, GHM, Banyan Tree, One&Only, LUX*, etc.

The interaction with such renowned operators raises the bar everyday and brings us a thorough knowledge of the industry.