Travel

Unbelievable Discoveries Await in Mysterious Sindalah Waters

Sindalah, the new Red Sea island destination, beckons with its opulent hotels, world-class dining, glamorous nightlife, and a vibrant year-round social calendar. However, beyond the glittering shores, lies an alluring world waiting to be discovered beneath the waves. In 2021, a team of 30 marine experts embarked on a six-week expedition organized by NEOM and OceanX to explore the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Accompanied by the cutting-edge OceanXplorer vessel, they delved into the depths, capturing over 960 hours of underwater footage and mapping an extensive 580 square miles of the seabed in high-resolution 3-D. The findings were extraordinary, unveiling a kaleidoscope of marine wonders that held regional and global significance.

The expedition’s revelations were awe-inspiring. The northern Red Sea revealed coral reefs that displayed resilience against bleaching, an astonishing ocean pinnacle towering over skyscrapers, eight new marine species, and the world’s most northern brine pool. Additionally, the team confirmed the presence of 12 species of megafauna, discovered ancient maritime sites and shipwrecks, and documented previously unrecorded tectonic plate shifts. These remarkable discoveries fascinated the scientific and marine communities, but the research went beyond exploration. By gathering significant data on biodiversity, marine environment, and the inhabitants of the area, the findings would translate into concrete conservation measures, ensuring the preservation of this exceptional and largely unexplored Red Sea region.

NEOM recognizes the significance of these findings for visitors as well. The Red Sea has long been hailed as a premier diving destination, attracting adventurous enthusiasts from around the world. The untapped northern stretches, previously off the map for travelers, hold tremendous allure. Sindalah, NEOM’s first island destination set to open in 2024, will provide an opportunity for visitors to explore this biodiverse and unspoiled underwater world. With a commitment to dedicating 95 percent of its land and sea area to nature preservation, NEOM aims to integrate the research insights from the OceanX expedition into the design and implementation of protected marine areas. Guests who venture below the waves of Sindalah will encounter a wealth of marine life, rare coral formations, colorful reef fish, and the presence of species of conservation importance such as dolphins, turtles, dugongs, manta rays, and whale sharks.

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