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Star architect Norman Foster

A luxurious mirage airport will be built in Saudi Arabia

A luxury travel destination is being created at the Red Sea, which now even has its own airport. Saudi Arabia has engaged star architect Norman Foster for its design.

Amaala gets its own airport – this sentence almost inevitably makes you think of a city. And then you wonder why you have never heard of it.

This is because Amaala is not a city at all. It is a luxury tourism project that Saudi Arabia is planning in a nature reserve at the Red Sea. Spread over an area of more than 4000 square kilometres – that is one and a half times the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island – 2500 hotel rooms and 800 villas and apartments are to be built.

Star architect designs Fata Morgana effect

But Amaala will be more than just one of many chic resorts for wealthy visitors. The focus will be on wellness, sports, art and culture – and with high standards. One area, for example, will house a museum and an academy for contemporary art, as well as an artists’ colony. The project, financed by a sovereign wealth fund, is to become the «heart of the Middle East Riviera», according to the claim.

Amaala has now also presented plans for the construction of an international airport. The design of the terminal and tower was created by the office of the British star architect Norman Foster. The whole thing is inspired by the surrounding desert landscape, which according to Amaala «creates a fascinating mirage effect».

Art and air-conditioned hangars

The terminal is to be elegant and mirrored, have a spacious inner courtyard and be furnished with works of art. The airport will offer air-conditioned hangars for private jets. Amaala Managing Director Nicholas Naples announced that it will not be an ordinary airport, but the «epitome of luxury» for «the world’s most demanding guests».

According to the architects Foster + Partners, the passenger experience will resemble that of a private club. «The design focuses on the themes of art, wellness and sport and tries to create a new model for private terminals that offers a seamless experience from the resort to the aircraft,» the designers say.

Completion planned for 2023

The airport is scheduled to be completed in 2023 and, after its official opening, will handle around one million passengers per year. That is about the same number as at Münster/Osnabrück Airport.

In the video above you can see what Amaala Airport is supposed to look like.

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