Cisco and The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) have announced a multi-million-dollar advisory agreement to design a Smart Destination services platform and ICT master plan for The Red Sea Project, the world’s most ambitious tourism and hospitality project. The announcement was made following the Cisco Connect event in Riyadh.
The Red Sea Project is Saudi Arabia’s flagship tourism development initiative: an exquisite luxury tourism destination built around nature, islands and culture. It aims at setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourist map. It is a central pillar in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, that identifies tourism as a strategic industry for the future of the Kingdom.
The collaboration will see Cisco design a full portfolio of customised smart services for TRSDC. This will include smart tourism, smart environment, mobility, utilities, public realm, administration and many other interconnected services.
The platform will be integral to the destination’s ability to offer visitors seamless, ultra-personalised products and services that set a new benchmark in luxury tourism. In addition, an extensive environmental monitoring, simulation and management network will help protect the natural ecosystems in the region for future generations.
To support the envisioned services, Cisco will design a state-of-the-art intelligent network, data centres and platforms to meet the needs and requirements of discerning visitors, and destination-wide systems to measure and monitor environmental markers. Cisco will also develop business and operating models that will ensure that TRSDC extracts the full value from its investment in technology.
“Visitors to the Red Sea Project will enjoy a seamless personalised experience from the moment they arrive, to the moment they leave – an experience that will be enabled through the intelligent application of technology,” said John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company.
“Delivering on this simple objective requires an extraordinary
amalgamation of talent and technology to bring it to life. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Cisco to help us identify and integrate the right technologies to deliver a unique user experience throughout the destination while preserving its stunning natural beauty for generations to come.”
Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, said: “Today, we celebrate taking the first steps along an exciting and inspiring journey with The Red Sea Development Company. Cisco will be TRSDC’s partner, forging the path forward and realising his Royal Highness’s vision of a unique destination that will establish the Kingdom as a luxury tourism destination. Our capabilities and vast experience in building Smart Cities and enabling them with technology will be fully devoted to the success of this project. At Cisco we strive to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers. We are obsessed with our customers’ success and through the application of the full spectrum of our expertise we can achieve extraordinary things together.”
The Red Sea Project offers a unique challenge to Smart City designers. It is geographically disbursed, extending over 28,000 km2 and incorporating, on completion, hotels and amenities on 22 islands and six inland locations. The destination is under construction in an almost entirely undeveloped area and includes an integrated renewable energy and utilities network, an international airport and a town large enough to house its 35,000 employees and their families, all of which need to be incorporated into the smart services system.
The destination’s rigorous environmental sustainability policies add another level of complexity. The smart destination will include a comprehensive network of sensors and systems to measure and provide real-time monitoring of the environment across the 2,500 km2 lagoon as well as sensitive inland areas. TRSDC has committed to a 30% increase in conservation value within the next two decades. Measurement and monitoring, enabled by technology, are central to delivering on this commitment.
Adele Trombetta, Vice President of Cisco Customer Experience in Middle East and Africa, said: “The Cisco Customer Experience Organisation lives for extraordinary projects. In the advisory team we have been invigorated and inspired by TRSP’s vision on how technology can foster inspiration and create an environment that enables innovation and brings about real change; these values go to the heart of what we do every day at Cisco.
“For this agreement we will be combining business and technology advisory to help TRSP bring to fruition a unique set of smart services. We envision this will be a lighthouse project for others in the region seeking to leverage technology to enhance the lives and experiences of visitors and residents in the Kingdom. Supporting the Smart Destination services will be an intricate and future-proof intelligent network that can help TRSP grow to its full potential and continue to innovate and build on the latest trends in technology.”
The announcement marks an extension of Cisco’s on-going partnerships with signature projects of regional and global significance. In Saudi Arabia, Cisco has a long-standing position as a leader in ICT across the Kingdom with projects spanning all aspects of digitisation. The company has committed itself to support the digitisation of the country and aligned itself to Vision 2030.