Luca Dini Design and Sindalah. Not just an island in the Red Sea, but a base for exploring an area destined to become a new yachting destination. Sindalah is part of the ambitious NEOM project, which is set to catapult Saudi Arabia into a future where the area is transformed into an ideal location in terms of liveability and environmental sustainability. (Here all our posts about Luca Dini Design)
A futuristic project
The other centres of the NEOM project are Trojena, a mountain location at an altitude of 2,000 metres that is to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games, Oxagon, the largest floating industrial hub powered by renewable energy and The Line, a self-sustaining, zero-CO2 emission megalopolis stretching for 179 kilometres. One very noteworthy piece of news is the involvement of Luca Dini Design & Architecture, the studio that has conceived, designed and developed the Sindalah project. We talked to Luca Dini about the initiative.
Can you describe how your studio became involved?
We’ve been involved since the initial stages, right back when NEOM was just a vision. It’s an ambitious project being developed in a 26,500 square kilometre area of the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia, an initiative that prioritises sustainability and innovation, redefining lifestyles. NEOM is the future.
In detail, what are your current projects and what guidelines have you been given?
Sindalah will the first NEOM project to reach completion. It’s a designer island offering a range of facilities – three resort hotels, a golf club, a village with shops and restaurants and a yacht club that will be the island’s nerve centre. We designed these areas with the idea of creating something innovative that integrates a number of elements, such as unconventional shapes, bespoke materials and solutions developed in collaboration with exceptional producers and artisans. Every design decision in Sindalah reflects a deep respect for the eco-system and its environment.
What factors influenced the client’s decision to select your studio?
The studio’s philosophy played a crucial role. We emphasise innovation as the driving force behind unprecedented design that leaves an enduring impression. The Italian heritage of artisanal skills was a decisive element, alongside our extensive knowledge of the luxury yacht market. Many of our projects involve out-of-the-ordinary tourist destinations that can be accessed from the Mediterranean by private yacht, and this approach opened the way to our collaboration with NEOM.
Our vision of Sindalah was especially successful, leading Luca Dini Design & Architecture to be chosen for the architecture and interior design for the entire island. We’ve undertaken this adventure with the aim of introducing new materials, finishes and solutions. Rather than restricting ourselves to selecting them, we’ve worked closely with internationally famous companies, small artisanal concerns and medium to large enterprises. Luca Dini Design & Architecture is a leading voice for NEOM in Europe and Italy. We help showcase Italian excellence.
What are the distinctive features of your projects?
There are many, but especially the materials and architectural solutions we adopt. Take, for example, Sindalah’s “interactive stone columns”, quartz menhirs that generate colour, sound and light experiences. They feature optical fibre and translucent polycarbonate screens with a unique rough texture.
How was your yacht design experience useful in developing a land-based project?
Our great strength lies in knowing how to embody the essence of the Italian marine lifestyle. We believe we can encourage large international clients to create quality spaces rather than banal “replicas”. The nautical influence doesn’t just affect our design philosophy, it permeates the technical specifications and the way the project is implemented. Our studio focusses its attention on custom yachts. Our clients go to the most beautiful destinations and luxury is a lifestyle for them. We adopted the same approach with NEOM, and that’s why for us yacht design and architecture are separate yet complementary fields whose energies blend seamlessly.
Do you think the project will transform this area into a yacht tourism destination?
Sindalah will have an 86-berth marina for yachts up to 75 metres in length and serviced buoys for superyachts up to 180 metres. This fully-functioning tourist port is being developed in line with the most stringent service quality and technological standards.
It will become a focus for yacht-owners seeking an alternative to already-familiar winter destinations. Only a few hours from Europe by air, Sindalah and in future the entire NEOM archipelago will be the ultimate location for owners seeking rapid access to their yacht, moored amid the beauty of an untouched sea.