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Mammoet installs first overwater villa at The Red Sea’s Sheybarah Island Resort

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The first modularly constructed villas for Red Sea Global’s Sheybarah Island Resort have been delivered by Mammoet at the beginning of 2023. Four villas were transported from the Port of Hamriyah in Sharjah and will be installed at the site on the island. This marks a significant milestone in the construction process, with the first prefabricated, stainless steel overwater villa orb now installed on its foundation.

To install the villa orb, Mammoet used its 650t capacity Demag CC3800 crawler crane, which was positioned on top of a modified barge, the ALE 250. The barge was specifically chosen for its shallow draft, which minimized the disturbance to the sensitive marine environment in the unique and picturesque archipelago in the Red Sea.


Once the crane had loaded and placed the villa orb on the barge deck, it sailed to the installation area where a hyper-accurate GPS system and the barge’s own winches were used to precisely align the barge with the foundation. The barge was then stabilized using a 300t spud jacking system provided by Combifloat, Mammoet’s partner for floating and self-elevating marine equipment suitable for nearshore operations. Lifting, lowering, and repositioning of the barge was achieved safely and efficiently through a locally controlled jacking mechanism and a 4-point mooring system.

The crane was raised to lift the orb into place, with its superlift replaced by a system designed specifically for the project, where the back mast of the CC3800 was tied back to the barge. This provided the crane with enough capacity to place the orb onto the foundation skillfully, without requiring the additional mass of a superlift tray. 

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Robert van Tinteren, Lead Project Engineer for Mammoet commented: “Creative engineering at its best. It has been an exciting nine months building up to this point, but it never gets tedious to see the incredible things we at Mammoet can do when we put our minds to it!”

Mammoet was awarded the contract to transport and install all 73 villa pods in May 2022, and it partnered with P&O Maritime Logistics, a leading provider of critical logistics and marine solutions, to support the shipment of the villas from the UAE to Saudi Arabia. Robert van Tinteren, Lead Project Engineer for Mammoet, praised the creative engineering that led to this exciting milestone and highlighted the incredible capabilities of the team at Mammoet. 

The Sheybarah Island Resort

The Sheybarah Island Resort is situated in the southeast of an archipelago on the Red Sea, featuring a diverse environment including mangroves, white sand dunes, and vibrant coral reefs. The resort is composed of 73 uniquely designed overwater and beach villas, along with arrival, front of house, F&B buildings, and other amenities.

Designed by Killa Design, a Dubai-based architectural firm, the resort’s façade is constructed with highly reflective polished stainless-steel cladding that mirrors the surrounding natural environment, including the ocean, sky, sand dunes, and coral reef below. This approach was used to minimize the visual impact of the resort on the island’s environment.

In addition to its luxurious amenities, the resort is committed to the latest sustainable technologies and eco-friendly practices, designed to preserve and enhance the island’s biodiversity and natural habitat. The Sheybarah Island Resort is a LEED Platinum off-grid, zero-energy, and zero-water development that promotes sustainable design in every aspect of its environment, serving as a hospitality benchmark for regenerative developments.

The resort is powered by a centralized solar farm and supplied with fresh water from a solar-powered desalination plant. Furthermore, the recycling of waste material takes place on the island, minimizing the need to bring or remove materials from the island. This sustainable and eco-friendly approach offers a luxurious experience to visitors from around the globe, and elevates Saudi Arabia as a top tier marine eco-tourism destination.

The Red Sea destination

The Red Sea destination is one of the world’s most ambitious sustainable tourism projects. It aims to create a luxurious vacation spot that respects and preserves the natural environment. By setting new standards for sustainable development, it hopes to establish a relationship between luxury tourism and the natural world, while also putting Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

The Red Sea offers a diverse range of unique, personalized experiences, encouraging visitors to explore the rich cultural heritage and natural wonders of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. The first phase of the project, including three hotels and the Red Sea International airport, will open to guests this year.

When completed in 2030, the destination will provide up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites. It is expected to play a significant role in Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification efforts, attracting up to one million visitors each year while remaining sustainable. The Red Sea destination is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan and spans 28,000 square kilometers. Its completion is expected to contribute over 22 billion riyals to the country’s GDP annually and create 70,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

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