John Pagano to step into new role as CEO of AMAALA in addition to his role as CEO of The Red Sea Development Company

Nicholas Naples hands over reins as AMAALA goes into second phase of development

RIYADH – 14 JANUARY 2021 – The AMAALA Board of Directors has confirmed CEO Nicholas Naples has departed AMAALA as part of the evolution of the destination, as the ultra-luxury Project located along Saudi Arabia’s north western coast goes into its next phase of construction. Naples has been instrumental in driving the early phase of the Project, establishing a team of 420 strong professionals and experts, all dedicated to bringing the destination’s blueprint to life.

John Pagano will become CEO of AMAALA whilst also continuing as CEO of The Red Sea Development Company. The industry veteran brings 38 years’ experience in delivering large-scale, multi-billion-dollar investments and will enable the complementary visions of both Projects to be realised. “We are very grateful to Nicholas for his strong leadership in bringing AMAALA to life and driving its development over the past three years. His departure is part of the evolution of AMAALA and he will continue to be part of the destination's development in the capacity of Senior Advisor to AMAALA. We wish Nicholas well as he heads to the US to spend more time with his family,” stated John Pagano, who takes on the mantle of CEO starting January 2021.

Since its launch in 2018, AMAALA has pressed forward with its ambitious agenda of creating a haven of luxury and well-being, underpinned by sustainability and philanthropy. In three years, it has laid the groundwork for its three core communities, revealed the design of its dedicated airport, and kicked off the first phase of construction. It has also built an Advisory Board that is composed of prominent experts from the fields of hospitality, wellness and sports, travel and tourism, arts and culture, construction, sustainability as well as luxury lifestyle and wellbeing.

“It has been an honour and privilege to have been part of this ground-breaking project and I look forward to its evolution over the coming years. Although I will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations, I will remain one of AMAALA’s biggest champions and look forward to supporting in an advisory capacity as the destination goes from strength to strength,” stated Naples.

AMAALA and The Red Sea Projects are complementary in nature and are firmly committed to delivering on Saudi Arabia’s luxury tourism ambition, as well as protecting and actively enhancing the country’s natural environment. Both projects are fully funded, with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) continuing to ensure high standards of governance whilst also creating synergies and increased efficiencies across all projects.


Designed to evolve and elevate the very best in travel, AMAALA, located along Saudi Arabia’s north western coast, is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on transformative personal journeys inspired by wellness, arts, culture, and the purity of the Red Sea.  

A Public Investment Fund company and a key contributor to Vision 2030, AMAALA will establish new standards in luxury and sustainability, catering to the world’s ultra-high net worth individuals. It is set in the Prince Mohammad bin Salman Natural Reserve across three unique communities. The 4,155 square kilometre (1,604 square mile) year-round destination will include 2,800 hotel keys and more than 900 private residential villas, apartments, and estate homes, alongside 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness, and recreational facilities.  

AMAALA’s trio of communities – Triple Bay, The Coastal Development, and The Island – will represent three different sets of experiences for visitors. 

  • Triple Bay will offer a fully holistic wellness retreat, state-of-the-art diagnostic medical facilities and authentic treatments designed to incorporate elements from the local environment. Triple Bay will also be home to a fully integrated sports and entertainment community.
  • The Coastal Development is set to become the defining hub of contemporary art in the Middle East, playing host to a dynamic programme of exciting events from the global arts and cultural calendar.
  • The Island will be the tranquil home of an exclusive art community, set amid an Arabian botanical garden complemented by a collection of sculptural pieces. 

The unique heritage and unspoiled landscape of AMAALA will allow travellers to immerse themselves in the finest wellness, art, culture, sports, and fitness offerings. With close proximity to major destinations in the region, including Riyadh, Dubai, and Istanbul, AMAALA will become the heart of the Riviera of the Middle East. 

For more information, please visit: www.amaala.com or follow AMAALA on Twitter at @Amaala and LinkedIn

About The Red Sea Development Company

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC - www.theredsea.sa) is a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. TRSDC was established to drive the development of The Red Sea Project, a luxury, regenerative tourism destination that will set new standards in sustainable development and position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

The project is being developed over 28,000 km2 of pristine lands and waters along Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands. The destination also features mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites. The destination will include hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, as well as supporting infrastructure that utilizes renewable energy and emphasizes water conservation and re-use.

Activity for the first phase of development, which focuses on enabling the infrastructure to support future work, is well underway. A marine infrastructure contract awarded in July 2019 includes the construction of a 3.3 km crossing to Shurayrah (the main hub), development has begun at the Coastal Village, which will be home to around 14,000 people who will work at the destination, and the Construction Village is close to completion.