Drone video reveals construction progress on Saudi airport by Foster + Partners

Aerial view of Red Sea International Airport under construction

This drone video reveals construction progress on the Red Sea International Airport, which British studio Foster + Partners is designing in Saudi Arabia.

Shared by developer Red Sea Global (RSG), the video offers a construction update on the airport, which forms part of The Red Sea Project tourist destination.

Foster+ Partners Red Sea International Airport in Saudi Arabia
Red Sea International Airport is under construction in Saudi Arabia

Red Sea International Airport began construction in 2021, 15 kilometres inland from the coast of the Red Sea.

It is being designed by Foster + Partners as a gateway to the wider development.

Its curved form and plan are intended to emulate the desert landscape and will be characterised by five dune-like pods arranged around a central drop-off and pick-up space.

Once complete in 2030, it is expected to reach a capacity of one million passengers a year by 2030, the majority of which will be tourists visiting The Red Sea Project.

Red Sea Global has also shared a video of the wider development

“The Red Sea International Airport has been envisaged as a gateway to one of the most unique resorts in the world and an integral part of the visitor experience,” said Foster + Partners head of studio Gerard Evenden when the project was first revealed.

“Inspired by the colours and textures of the desert landscape, the design seeks to create a calm and luxurious journey through the terminal and will become a transit hub for visitors coming in by both land and air.”

RSG has also shared another video capturing the wider tourist development taking shape, which includes a ring-shaped hotel on stilts and a resort built among the sand dunes that are also designed by Foster + Partners.

In the video, the project’s head of construction Andrew Tyson said the team is making “incredible progress” on The Red Sea Project with “a lot of the structures now in place”.

There will be a total of 50 resorts and more than 1,000 homes across 22 islands and six inland sites. The first three hotels in The Red Sea are on track to open later this year, alongside phase one of the international airport, which will start receiving domestic flights.

Foster + Partners was criticised for its work on another Saudi Arabian airport, the Amaala airport, by climate activist group Architects Climate Action Network which called on the studio to withdraw from the project over climate concerns.

The Red Sea Project is among several tourist sites currently being developed in Saudi Arabia. In the AlUla desert French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a subterranean hotel and architecture studio AW2 has created a glamping resort.

The country has also unveiled plans for megacity The Line, which will be designed by architects including Morphosis, and an octagonal port city that will be created by Danish studio BIG.

These are both part of the country’s Neom megaproject, which has been criticised by UN experts as three people have reportedly been sentenced to death for opposing the project.

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