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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion giga-project NEOM has partnered with UK-based Dive Butler International to enhance the aquatic and diving experience at luxury island Sindalah.
In a press statement, NEOM noted that the partnership will provide visitors with a deluxe experience both above and below the waters of the Red Sea.
Under the agreement, Dive Butler will operate a five-star Professional Association of Diving Instructors dive center in Sindalah, providing a wide range of aquatic activities for visitors.
Moreover, the firm will also operate electric and hybrid vessels that exclusively use environmentally friendly moorings.
“We are proud to collaborate with Dive Butler International to provide our visitors with the opportunity to explore the marvels of Sindalah’s waters and facilitate unique experiences across a multitude of marine activities,” said Antoni Vives, NEOM’s chief urban development and islands officer.
He added: “Sindalah, located in the north of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline, will offer the world a new destination for sustainable and cutting-edge underwater exploration activities all year round.”
Alexis Vincent, founder of Dive Butler International, said that the company’s partnership with NEOM will offer a one-of-a-kind marine experience to visitors.
“All Sindalah guests will have access to unique underwater excursions tailored to their preferences, ultimately giving them the best of marine exploration experiences,” added Vincent.
Scheduled for a grand opening in 2024, Sindalah is expected to emerge as NEOM’s premier tourism destination.
Developing NEOM into a world-class tourist hub is one of the key goals outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, as the region is steadily diversifying its economy away from oil.
The Kingdom’s National Tourism Strategy is to attract 100 million visitors by 2030 while raising the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product to more than 10 percent.
Earlier in August, NEOM had appointed JLS Yachts as a “key partner superyacht agency” for Sindalah.
The partnership aims to transform the island into a sought-after destination for yachting enthusiasts worldwide, according to a press statement.
In August, NEOM also inked a deal with IMG Golf Course Services to launch a nine-hole beachfront facility on Sindalah Island.
NEOM and BlueNalu join hands in sustainable food ecosystem push
NEOM has signed a memorandum of understanding with BlueNalu, a company known for developing cell-cultured seafood.
According to a press statement, this partnership aims to progress the commercialization, marketing, and distribution of BlueNalu’s cell-cultured seafood products, along with developing sustainable solutions that will ensure food security in the Kingdom.
Under the deal, both companies will work together to establish an incubation and food innovation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. They will also engage with regulatory agencies to obtain the approval and sale of these novel foods.
This partnership follows NEOM Investment Fund’s $20 million backing in BlueNalu, aimed at commercializing healthy and sustainable seafood around the globe.
“Our investment in BlueNalu goes beyond mere financial backing; it marks a pivotal moment in our commitment to fostering sustainable regenerative aquaculture and resilient food ecosystems,” said Majid Mufti, CEO of NEOM Investment Fund.
He added: “By aligning NEOM Food with BlueNalu’s trailblazing approach, we’re not just envisioning a sustainable future— we’re investing in the transformative technologies that make it achievable.”
BlueNalu’s founder, President and CEO Lou Cooperhouse said the partnership with NEOM will help ensure an accessible seafood supply in Saudi Arabia.
“By combining our global expertise in cell-cultured seafood and the tremendous number of strategic partnerships we’ve developed to date at BlueNalu, together with NEOM’s extraordinary vision and resources, we can accelerate the development of innovative, renewable food solutions via cell-cultured seafood,” he added.
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