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Red Sea Global Revives Maritime Heritage in Initiative to Restore Sailing Ships in Umluj


01 Feb 2024


Red Sea Global Revives Maritime Heritage in Initiative to Restore Sailing Ships in Umluj


01 Feb 2024


-    The event was held weekly throughout January 2024 at Souq Amerah in the city of Umluj and included many different activities.

-    Eleven ships were restored, and two new ships were built using traditional techniques as part of the workshops held throughout the event.

Riyadh, 1 Feb 2024: Red Sea Global (RSG), the developer behind the regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and Amaala, has launched an initiative to restore sailing ships in collaboration with its partner, Tamkeen Association. The initiative aims to revive and preserve maritime heritage, recognizing the importance of safeguarding this legacy for the local community. Sailing ships have historically been a vital means of transportation for goods and passengers between neighboring countries and cities.

The event was held weekly throughout January 2024 at Souq Amerah in the city of Umluj and included many different activities. These activities were tailored for the local community, featuring folklore shows and workshops aimed at educating young people about traditional shipbuilding. Additionally, various stalls were set up to support local people to showcase and sell their products.

The Oil Sustainability Program (OSP) contributed to the initiative by helping ensure the implementation of the best environmental practices. The program also collaborated with the private sector, represented by (JOUTN), through the supply of environmentally friendly paint for the restoration process. This was carried out under the supervision of local fishermen, joined by their families, in a wonderful scene that reflected their interest in passing this profession on to future generations. 



“I am delighted to witness RSG’s contributions and initiatives aimed at preserving the history and legacy of the Red Sea region. These efforts serve as a significant affirmation of the community's role in shaping the future of our destinations. Local heritage is a source of great pride, enhancing our identity as a tourist destination proud of its heritage and community, and plays a crucial role for individuals who find support in maintaining pride in their professions as it endures and flourishes across successive generations,”
said Engineer Ahmad Darwish, Chief Administrative Officer at RSG.


The closing ceremony witnessed the presence of a number of figures from the Heritage Commission, UNESCO, and a number of prominent figures in Umluj Governorate. RSG is committed to achieving sustainability in all aspects, placing a special emphasis on preserving local heritage. This initiative aims to transfer knowledge of a craft that has faded away, to revive it and pass it on to new generations ensuring its conservation and continuation. 

The National Committee for Education, Science, and Culture contributed by registering ‘marine heritage to preserve skills linked to restoring heritage sailboats’ with UNESCO. The committee also played a crucial role in coordinating with relevant authorities focused on preserving both intangible and tangible marine heritage.

In a statement, Ms. Rasha Shawoosh, the Senior Director of the Social Development Department at RSG, expressed her delight and excitement at witnessing the community's enthusiasm. She emphasized that it is a catalyzer for future endeavors, underlining the community's crucial involvement in the success of such initiatives.

The initiative has received widespread acclaim within the community, captivating the hearts of men, women, and children, as well as enchanting the visitors to the Governance. Their expressions of admiration resonate with the perception of an ancient heritage and the challenges confronted by sailors in the crafting and safeguarding of ships. They immersed in the tales of sailors' journeys embarking on months-long odysseys in the Red Sea through the tribulations encountered amidst the vast, unpredictable waves. 

In 2023, The Red Sea welcomed its first guests, with two of its hotels now open. The Red Sea International Airport has been receiving a regular schedule of flights since September 2023. Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea destination will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment and leisure facilities.  


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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