Foster + Partners designs mirage-like airport for AMAALA in Saudi Arabia

The design is inspired by the optical illusion of a desert mirage.

Foster + Partners AMAALA

UK-based architecture giant Foster + Partners has designed the new international airport for AMAALA, a luxury destination located along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast inspired by the optical illusion of a desert mirage.

On approaching the airport, travellers will see stunning land art from the air, later being  greeted with a sleek mirrored edifice rising from the desert. The structure takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment, resulting in a mesmerising mirage effect.

A spacious courtyard will anchor the terminal and will be complemented by contemporary interiors, complete with unique artwork and tailored experiences. The airport will reflect AMAALA’s luxury hospitality spirit, providing an exclusive ‘private-club’ experience that encapsulates AMAALA’s pillars of art and culture; wellness and sport; as well as sea, sun, and lifestyle.

Foster + Partners AMAALA airport

Among the list of amenities provided by the airport are climate-controlled hangars that will be available for private jets as well as a ground transfer service that is accessible from inside the arrival hangar.

“Responding to the surrounding landscape, the terminal building will form an exclusive gateway to the AMAALA resort. The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club – luxurious and relaxing. Focusing on the themes of art, wellbeing and sport, the design seeks to establish a new model for private terminals that provides a seamless experience from resort to airplane,” said senior executive partner at  Foster + Partners, Gerard Evenden.

Foster + Partners AMAALA airport

The airport master plan was designed by Egis, an international consultancy and engineering group.

“Along with embodying the luxurious spirit of the resort, the AMAALA airport meets the highest environmental design and sustainability standards, is operationally versatile and incorporates the latest airport technology and best practice standards on offer. It has been a privilege to have worked closely with AMAALA to define the requirements of this unique project and we look forward continuing our support all the way through to the opening of the airport in 2023,” said Middle East & South Asia Aviation director of Egis, Jacques Khoriaty.

The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is estimated to accommodate one million travellers per year, once it officially opens.

Commenting on the announcement of the new international airport, theChief Executive Officer of AMAALA, Nicholas Naples, said: “A gateway to AMAALA, visitors will be greeted by personalised experiences from the moment they step off the plane. From design to personalisation, this will be no ordinary airport. Immersed in the spirit of AMAALA, the airport will create an environment that embodies the philosophy of the destination beyond. This will be a unique space that personifies luxury and marks the start of memorable experiences for the world’s most discerning guests. We are delighted to work with Foster + Partners and Egis on this project.”