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The Red Sea: The First Dark-Sky Destination in the Middle East

 The Red Sea sets new lighting benchmarks in the hospitality industry to reduce light pollution and safeguard local wildlife
Across the globe, there is an uptick in programs and initiatives to protect dark skies at night, with a renewed focus on the effects of light pollution on local environments. The desert landscape in Saudi Arabia remains one of the few places with unaffected dark skies and few private corporations are doing as much to preserve these areas of natural beauty as Red Sea Global . Driven by a commitment to local communities, ecologies, and biomes, The Red Sea is set to become the only certified Dark Sky Reserve in the Middle East.
Projected to become a global Dark Sky Reserve by Dark Sky International, The Red Sea nurtures and values the connection between the stars and humanity due to their profound significance in Arabian culture that dates back to nomadic peoples relying on the night sky to illuminate their journeys. Taking it one step further, the destination works closely with this world-leading non-profit organization to develop new lighting benchmarks for the hospitality industry.

Spearheading a ‘nature first’ approach, The Red Sea’s resorts, including the newly opened Six Senses Southern Dunes, are implementing innovative lighting strategies that provide enough sustainable lighting for guests to comfortably and luxuriously explore the property. Without emitting harmful levels of light, the property makes use of programmable digital lighting control systems in conjunction with astronomical timers to allow the artificial lighting to adapt to environmental seasonal changes. The strategic use of lighting optics to control and reduce the light and pollution to almost zero across the entire development area offers vital protection to the surrounding wildlife.
Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s least explored deserts, guests can experience astrophotography sessions, campfire storytelling and stargazing excursions, with the chance to spot the Milky Way, a celestial wonder now obscured from view for one-third of the global population due to light pollution. Looking ahead, Red Sea Global will work on the existing conditions of villages and neighboring cities to reduce the sky glow and operate more sustainably by upgrading their external lighting.
Reducing light pollution not only helps to keep the dark sky pristine but also protects both nocturnal and diurnal wildlife. Countless endemic creatures in the region exhibit natural photoperiodic behavior, meaning their responses are influenced by daily, seasonal, or annual cycles of light and darkness. Light pollution can be incredibly damaging to these animals as they depend on natural light and darkness for survival.
A prime example of this is the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, a critically endangered species, that faces the detrimental impacts of light pollution during a particularly poignant time of its life cycle when nesting and hatching along the shores of The Red Sea. As they rely on the moonlight to guide them toward the ocean after hatching, excessive artificial light can deter nesting attempts or cause nesting site abandonment, hindering the reproductive success of this already endangered species.

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea and St. Regis Red Sea Resort are both now available for booking, inviting guests on a journey into seldom-experienced extraordinary nature, wildlife and culture, setting new standards in sustainability, regeneration, and hospitality. .

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.

RSG is a global multi-project developer, seeking to lead the world towards a more sustainable future, showing how responsible and regenerative development can uplift communities, drive economies, and enhance the environment. The protection of natural capital is central to all development decisions, as the organization seeks to create a better future for all.

A cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 ambition to diversify its economy, RSG is playing a key role in transforming the nation, by creating exciting opportunities for young Saudi talent and the private sector, as it develops built assets and destinations across multiple sectors that make a positive impact for people and planet.
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 and Thuwal Private Retreat. It 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.

Across its portfolio, RSG leverages the most innovative concepts, strategies, and technologies to deliver projects .

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