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

April 26, 2024 | Press Release

In an era where preserving the natural beauty of our night skies is gaining global attention, the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia emerges as a beacon of hope. With an unparalleled commitment to safeguarding its pristine dark skies, Red Sea Global is leading the charge to designate this desert landscape as the Middle East’s inaugural certified Dark Sky Reserve.

Projected to attain global recognition by DarkSky International, the Red Sea region cherishes the profound cultural significance of the stars in Arabian heritage, tracing back to the nomadic tribes who relied on the celestial canopy for navigation. Collaborating closely with the esteemed non-profit organisation, the destination is pioneering new lighting standards for the hospitality sector, ensuring that luxury accommodations harmonise with the natural environment.

Embracing a philosophy of ‘nature first’, the Red Sea’s luxury resorts, epitomised by the recently unveiled Six Senses Southern Dunes, employ cutting-edge lighting strategies. These innovations not only provide guests with a comfortable and opulent experience but also minimise light pollution, thereby safeguarding the nocturnal habitats of the surrounding wildlife.

Against the majestic backdrop of one of the world’s least explored deserts, visitors to the Red Sea can indulge in astrophotography sessions, captivating campfire storytelling, and mesmerising stargazing expeditions. Here, under the cloak of darkness, guests have the rare opportunity to behold the Milky Way, a spectacle obscured to much of the world due to rampant light pollution.

Looking ahead, Red Sea Global is committed to enhancing the sustainability of neighbouring communities and cities by mitigating sky glow and upgrading external lighting infrastructure. Recognising the critical importance of this endeavour, the initiative not only preserves the celestial wonder of the night sky but also safeguards the delicate balance of both nocturnal and diurnal wildlife.

One such example is the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, a species on the brink of extinction, whose nesting and hatching rituals along the shores of the Red Sea are threatened by artificial light. By reducing light pollution, Red Sea Global aims to mitigate the adverse impacts on these vulnerable creatures, ensuring their survival for generations to come.

The unveiling of Six Senses Southern Dunes and St. Regis Red Sea Resort marks the dawn of a new era in sustainable tourism, inviting guests to embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of nature, wildlife, and culture. With a commitment to sustainability, regeneration, and hospitality, the Red Sea sets a new standard for responsible travel in the Middle East and beyond.