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Red Sea Global launches new adventure sports company in Saudi Arabia

Akun has announced AJ Hackett, aka Bungy New Zealand and Air Sports Group are its first key partners

Developer Red Sea Global (RSG) has launched Akun, which is billed as an adventure sports brand that will create authentic and unique experiences for guests at RSG destinations, in line with the responsible ethos of the group.

According to the developer, ‘Akun’ comes from Arabic meaning ‘to be’. It is said to be deeply connected to the ambition of empowering guests to “find their way and just be. Be present. Be in the moment. Be real”.

The brand reflects a mission to encourage people to live meaningfully, where every day is different. It is about finding your way, it added.

“At Red Sea Global, we believe the experiences available for our guests are just as important as the destination itself, and this new brand will provide them with world-class experiences in land and in connection with the sky above. Akun will offer a diverse range of ‘bucket-list’ adventures set in, over and throughout breath-taking sea and landscapes, and each builds on the exciting sense of exploration we nurture at our destinations,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global.

In late March 2023, RSG awarded the contracts for Amaala’s Marina Village.

According to a statement from the developer, Akun will operate and manage adventure and sports experiences at RSG destinations including gravel, mountain, fat tire and electric biking, plus trail running and hiking through diverse natural trails. Guests can choose from climbing, scrambling, and a wide selection of thrilling action sports for both beginners and athletes.

Akun will also be closely connected to the local communities in each destination, working to develop conservation and cultural trails, and telling the incredible stories of these ancient lands.

The company’s formation comes after the developer’s transformation into Red Sea Global last year, which came with an ambition to establish a series of RSG-owned subsidiary businesses to support the evolution of its developments. WAMA and Galaxea were the first two subsidiary businesses to be announced back in February, the statement explained.

“Combined with WAMA and Galaxea, our water sports and diving brands, we can now offer a full trio package of sporting experiences ahead of our first guests arriving at The Red Sea this year. Aligning with these brands and our broader company vision, Akun will operate with sustainability at its core and in line with our regenerative ambitions to protect and enhance the local environment,” Pagano commented.

In early April 2023, RSG appointed ILF Consulting Engineers to implement a $1.5bn project.

WAMA is responsible for offering invigorating water sport adventures, from stand-up paddleboarding through the destination’s mangrove forests, to sailing the Red Sea’s soft swells, while Galaxea will offer diving experiences that let guests explore the rich marine life below the water, the developer reiterated.

Akun has already signed two initial partnership deals with operators Bungy New Zealand and Air Sports Group, which will both assess the capacity for adventure tourism at RSG destinations. Air Sports Group will carry out a 13-week on-site technical assessment to ascertain the air sports potential at both Amaala and The Red Sea, with sports including skydiving, paragliding, paramotoring, and hot air ballooning. Bungy New Zealand will focus on developing the overall adventure tourism plan and concept designs for individual guest experiences, the statement clarified.

“Akun focuses on discovery – discovering yourself and your physical and mental strength and discovering the Kingdom. Through such partnerships with leading international experts, we are confident that we can successfully unlock the potential of our land, sea and skies, welcoming guests to find their way in this new adventure playground,” added Rosanna Chopra, Executive Director-Destination Development at Red Sea Global.

Three resorts at The Red Sea will open this year along with the first phase of the Red Sea International airport, welcoming domestic flights. A further 13 hotels will open in 2024, and upon full completion in 2030, the 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, F&B, and leisure facilities, the statement concluded.

In mid April 2023, a Red Sea hotel MEP contract was awarded to Elegancia Arabia Trading Company.

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