The company is a wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and is the creator of the Red Sea Project.
The board will help set the project’s agenda to develop and implement a new international standard in environmental protection and restoration, sustainable development, innovation and luxury tourism.
On the board are Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; Steve Case, chairman of Revolution; and Philippe Cousteau, founder of EarthEcho International.
They are joined by Carlos Duarte, professor at the Red Sea Research Centre; J. Carl Ganter, chief executive of the Vector Centre; Paul Holthus, chief executive of the World Ocean Council; Aradhana Khowala, chief executive of Aptamind Partners; Sven-Olof Lindblad, chief executive of Lindblad Expeditions; and William McDonough, founder of William McDonough & Partners.
Finally, Frits Dirk van Paasschen, senior advisor with TPG Capital; Vijay Poonoosamy, director of international and public affairs, QI Group; and Sonu Shivdasani, chief executive of Soneva will take their seats.
Located along the west coast of Saudi Arabia at the crossroads of the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the project is envisioned as an ultra-luxury tourism destination for nature, adventure, wellness, and culture.
It is part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious blueprint for the future.
“Utilising this group of advisors to guide the Red Sea Development Company is crucial to creating a world-class project of this scale,” said John Pagano, chief executive of TRSDC.
“The collective expertise of this impressive group will help us to exceed the inspirational goals set for the tourism sector in Vision 2030.”
The members of the board will serve multifunctional roles when working with TRSDC’s board of directors and executive team.
They will also advise the board of directors of TRSDC, led by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Board members first met in New York City in March 2018 to provide initial feedback on the project’s direction.
They met again in Saudi Arabia in July to visit the Red Sea Project’s unique marine and land ecosystems, and to provide further input on development and sustainability strategies.
The Red Sea Development Company was incorporated in May as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and will drive the development of the Red Sea Project.
The first phase of project will include hotels and residential units, an airport and related infrastructure, and a range of unique attractions, providing an ideal environment for partnerships with leading international investors.
The number of hotel rooms and residential units which the project will ultimately deliver will be determined by the project’s environmental parameters.
The annual number of visitors will be capped to protect the unique environment and enhance the visitor experience.
Completion of phase one is anticipated by the last quarter of 2022.