The Sharaan Resort in AlUla will have 28 customized hotel suites carved into the sandstone mountain facade. The excavated areas will be one on top of the other. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A project landmark has been reached at Saudi Arabia’s Sharaan Resort project in AlUla, with the first rock excavations happening.

The Sharaan Resort will have 38 customized suites carved into the sandstone mountains. This will create ‘wellness facilities, family-friendly amenities, dining options, and unique panoramic views’.

The project promoter, Royal Commission for AlUla and its contractor partners have developed construction techniques that take the ‘ancient Nabataean practice of creating spaces within rock’, and then apply current engineering methods to create habitable spaces.

“Part of the project’s uniqueness lies in having excavated areas one on top of the other,” said a statement.

"This initial excavation is tangible evidence of our continued efforts to develop AlUla into a premier destination that harmonises luxury tourism with the preservation of unique cultural and natural heritage," said Ben Hudson, Chief Development and Construction Officer at RCU.

"Our work is fully guided by RCU’s environmental, social and health impact processes, and we are ensuring that all stakeholders appreciate the special location we are working in.”

While AlUla will eventually have 5,000 hotel rooms by 2030 and 8,500 rooms by 2035, the Sharaan Resort will stand as a 'flagship project'.