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Ummahat Island

The First Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East Opens on Ummahat Island

Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first of its kind in the Middle East, has been unveiled on Ummahat Island, nestled in the tranquil waters of the Red Sea. This private island retreat is part of the captivating Blue Hole cluster, where pristine coral reefs thrive beneath the surface, and an endless tapestry of stars paints the sky above. Named after the Arabic word for “stars,” Nujuma invites travelers to embark on an uncharted journey to one of the world’s most secluded and protected archipelagos. Here, amidst the azure expanse, guests can explore and immerse themselves in the region’s culture and traditions.

The Red Sea, a luxury regenerative tourism destination on Saudi Arabia’s west coast, is surrounded by the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system, featuring an archipelago of over 90 untouched islands. From this enchanting setting, guests can embark on extraordinary snorkeling and scuba diving adventures to uncover seldom-visited underwater sites. The barrier reef, thriving for over five thousand years, is home to vibrant ecosystems, including over 165 endemic reef fish species, dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, and Napoleon wrasse.

The island’s shores are fringed by rich mangroves, known to be among the most productive ecosystems in the world, where visitors can spot various sea birds, marine invertebrates, and havali guitarfish. Beyond the turquoise waters, guided trails across majestic desert dunes reveal the beauty of the coastal mainland.

Designed by Foster and Partners, Nujuma’s architecture and interiors blend local aesthetics with modern design, featuring natural materials and geometric patterns reminiscent of the region’s motifs. The interiors are adorned with Arabic artifacts, traditional ceramics, woven Saudi patterned rugs, and intricate wall hangings celebrating local craftsmanship. Pathways between pavilions and villas are elegantly framed by lush landscaping of indigenous plants.

Accessible by chartered boat or seaplane, Nujuma offers 63 overwater and beach villas, with one-to-three-bedroom accommodations, spacious living areas, and private pools overlooking the sea. Each villa features telescopes for stargazing. The overwater villas, connected by an elevated ring walkway, offer panoramic views and direct sea access, while the beach villas, nestled on undisturbed white sand, are flooded with natural light and sea breezes. Each villa is attended by a dedicated personal host to ensure a seamless experience.

Local experts are on hand to provide insights into Saudi Arabian culture and traditions. The Conservation House serves as a hub for creative pursuits and community engagement, where guests can participate in hands-on activities led by sustainability, environmental, and cultural experts, fostering a deep connection with the destination.

Nujuma’s dining experiences draw inspiration from Arabian traditions of gathering to share stories, poetry, and science. The Reserve’s five culinary venues honor the fishermen of the Umluj region. Tabrah, a modern take on a fisherman’s home, offers seafood specialties, while Jamaa provides light dishes by the outdoor pool and beach. Maia, an intimate venue for astrology-inspired refreshments, features a telescope and star design elements, perfect for stargazing with insights from Nujuma’s astrologer. Sita, an all-day dining venue, combines a French-style patisserie and a Levantine restaurant under woven-wood pavilions, evoking the tradition of leaf weaving. Guests are welcomed by the aroma of freshly baked bread from a traditional clay oven.

The Neyrah Spa, a sanctuary dedicated to holistic wellness, offers ceremonies and treatments using regional ingredients like oud and moringa peregrina tree oil from AlUla. Wellness experts create bespoke journeys encompassing breathing techniques, meditation, lunar yoga, and sound healing therapy. The spa features sea-facing treatment rooms, outdoor cabins, vitality and lap pools, a hammam, and a fitness center, encouraging guests to reflect, rejuvenate, and embrace the future with clarity and energy.

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