Aman is planning to open a hotel in Saudi Arabia, with a project in the north-west of the kingdom.
The development will be the group’s first hotel in the Middle East and will include a tented camp and a ranch-style desert resort.
It will be close to Al-‘Ula, an area home to some of the country’s most historical sites, several of which have been likened to those of Petra in Jordan for their beauty and significance.
These include the archaeological site of Mada’in Saleh (also known as Hegra), which dates back to pre-Islamic times, and was the first designated Unesco World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia.
Mada’in Saleh is considered to be the largest conserved site of the civilisation of the Nabataeans south of Petra and comprises more than 100 well-preserved tombs cut from the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement, which dates back to the 2nd century.
“Many of our existing Aman destinations are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty and rich history,” said Aman chairman and chief executive Vladislav Doronin, announcing the new project.
“With the addition of spectacular Al-‘Ula, this take us to 10 properties situated near or in Unesco Heritage Sites, making it a fitting location for our first destination in the Middle East; Aman is committed to preserving such archaeological wonders and creating resorts that blend into such dramatic surroundings,” he added.
The Aman resort is not due for completion until 2023 and is being created in partnership with the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula, created around two years ago by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman.
His authorised a plan to take charge of the Mada’in Saleh region, develop a strategy for protecting it and open it up to sustainable tourism.
Aman was founded in 1988 and has grown to include 37 hotels in 22 destinations such as Bhutan, Cambodia, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan and Laos.
Further future openings for the group include Aman Kyoto (2019), Aman New York (2020) and Amanvari in Mexico (2020).