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Acacia Trees: Strength, Resilience, and Timeless Beauty


11 Jun 2024


Acacia trees: Strength, resilience, and timeless beauty


11 Jun 2024


By Judy Salamah, Senior Specialist – Environmental Assessment at Red Sea Global

I, and others like me, have been standing for nearly 600 years. Together, we have witnessed great change in our home: the birth of the nation, the discovery of oil, and the opening of borders to visitors from around the world, all while giving undemandingly to humans.   

Amid Saudi’s arid landscapes, you will find us - Acacia trees. Immovable and patient, our twisted trunks and spreading canopies are living legends, and evidence that beauty and strength can flourish in vast desert expanses. 

Yet, our presence is more than aesthetic; it's a lifeline. We offer vital shelter for animals. Our extensive root systems protect against the forces of soil erosion, and ancient people relied on us for shade, and nectar for honey. 

These people called us Acacia. Our most common tribe (‘species’ in human speak) was named Acacia tortilis but you renamed me, Vachellia.   

Gradually, we have worked our way into Saudi culture, becoming the protagonists of folklore, the muse of poets, and the subject of songs. We stand as symbols of resilience, deeply intertwined with the pulse of the land and the heart of the people. 

But what truly captivates the imagination is our remarkable longevity. Centuries ago, many of us even saw pilgrims from around the world traveling the Hijazi coasts. Our exceptional lifespan stems from our ability to withstand extreme environmental conditions while keeping our structural integrity throughout the ages. 

In my lifetime, I have provided shelter to animals now extinct. My parents likely shaded lions, Arabian ostrich, cheetah, and other animals that once roamed our land. 

Our adaptations are our secret to survival, enabling us to thrive and endure over time. Our extensive root system taps into nutrient-rich water even in the driest of regions. And, our specialized leaf structures, including small leaflets and thorns, help to conserve water and deter herbivores. I may be slow to grow, but I have a highly effective energy conservation strategy, further increasing my resilience by reducing susceptibility to diseases and environmental stressors. 

Our longevity contributes to biodiversity, providing habitats, food, and support for various organisms. We are the architects of life, showcasing nature's resilience and adaptability. We are not just survivors; we are living records of exceptional adaptations and an enduring spirit in the Arabian Desert.   

I, and my friends, hope that the next time you pass us, you will appreciate just how special we are and help to protect us and our habitats. Please help our children to grow, become established, and thrive for generations to come. 

About Red Sea Global

Red Sea Global (RSG - is a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. It is a vertically integrated real estate developer with a diverse portfolio across tourism, residential, experiences, infrastructure, transport, healthcare, and services. This includes the luxury regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea, which began welcoming guests in 2023, and AMAALA, which remains on track to welcome first guests in 2025. A third destination, Thuwal Private Retreat, will open this year, and RSG has also been entrusted with refurbishment works at Al Wajh Airport, focused on upgrading the existing terminal and infrastructure, and building a new international terminal. RSG is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s ambition to diversify its economy. Across its growing portfolio of destinations, subsidiaries, and businesses, RSG seeks to lead the world towards a more sustainable future, showing how responsible development can uplift communities, drive economies, and enhance the environment.

RSG is the visionary company behind some of the world’s most ambitious development ventures, including luxury regenerative tourism destinations such as The Red Sea and AMAALA.

Across its portfolio, RSG leverages the most innovative concepts, strategies, and technologies to deliver projects that actively enhance the wellbeing of customers, communities, and environments.

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