Ummahat Island, Saudi Arabia: Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East was unveiled today on Ummahat Island in the tranquil waters of The Red Sea. The private island retreat is nestled within the captivating Blue Hole cluster of islands, where pristine coral reefs thrive beneath the surface and the celestial canopy above paints an endless tapestry of stars. Nujuma – inspired by the meaning of ‘stars’ in Arabic – invites travellers to embark on an unchartered journey to one of the world’s most secluded and protected archipelagos. Here, amidst the azure expanse, guests are beckoned to explore and immerse themselves in the region’s culture and traditions.

    “As more and more travellers look to discover new corners of the earth, we are thrilled to reveal our newest Ritz-Carlton Reserve, located amongst the natural beauty and stunning setting of The Red Sea,” said Jenni Benzaquen, SVP The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. “Nujuma joins a collection of rare Ritz-Carlton Reserve estates around the world, inviting the most discerning travellers to embark on a journey of exploration where every encounter reveals a deeper connection to the destination. I cannot wait for guests to discover this luxurious private sanctuary and truly transformative experience.”

    The Red Sea, one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s luxury regenerative tourism destinations on the west coast of the country, is surrounded by the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system with an archipelago of more than 90 untouched islands. From this enchanting setting, guests can embark on extraordinary snorkelling and scuba diving adventures to uncover seldom visited sites beneath the waves. Teeming with vibrant coral reefs that have thrived for over five thousand years, the barrier reef is home to fascinating ecosystems including over 165 endemic reef fish, dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, and Napoleon wrasse.

    The island’s shores are fringed by rich mangroves, known to be one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, and within this lush habitat visitors can spot a variety of sea birds, marine invertebrates and havali guitarfish. Beyond the turquoise waters, guests can discover the beauty of the coastal mainland through guided trails across majestic desert dunes.

    Designed by Foster and Partners, Nujuma’s sweeping shell-inspired architecture and elegant interiors are crafted with natural materials imbued with calming sea and sand tones, and geometric patterns reminiscent of the region’s design motifs. Arabic artifacts, traditional ceramics, woven Saudi patterned rugs and intricate wall hangings celebrating local craftmanship flow through the canopied interiors. Lush landscaping of indigenous plants elegantly frame the pathways between the pavilioned spaces and villas.

    Accessed by chartered boat or seaplane, Nujuma features 63 overwater and beach villas, offering one-to-three-bedroom accommodation, spacious living areas and private pools overlooking the sea. Guests can marvel at the limitless starry night skies from the comfort of their villa through telescopes positioned on each deck. Perched above the cerulean-blue sea and connected by an elevated ring walkway, the overwater villas offer panoramic views and direct access to the sea. Nestled on undisturbed soft white sand, the beach villas are secluded retreats flooded with natural light and the sea’s refreshing breeze. Each villa enjoys the services of a dedicated personal host, who will take care of every detail and guide guests through all the enriching experiences this destination has to offer.

    Opportunity to gain unique insights into the Saudi Arabian culture, traditions and the destination are presented by a team of local experts dedicated to preserving and sharing their heritage. Honouring the legacy of nomadic exploration and learning, the Conservation House is an integrated space for creative pursuits to expand knowledge and foster a sense of community. Through hands-on activities hosted by resident sustainability, environmental, and cultural experts, guests of all ages can cultivate a deep connection with the destination.

    Nujuma’s dining philosophy is inspired by the Arabian tradition of gathering at one’s home to share stories of good fortune, poetry, philosophy and science. Each of the Reserve’s five culinary experiences honour the generations of fishermen from the Umluj region whose lives have been deeply intertwined with the area for over 50 years. Guests are warmly welcomed to Tabrah, a modern interpretation of a fisherman’s home, to share a menu of seafood specialities including, ‘The Luckiest Catch’, a communal celebration of the sea’s daily bounty that has nurtured the fisherman’s family through the ages. Jamaa is a relaxed alfresco space serving light dishes prepared in an open kitchen and over a wood-fire grill to the resort’s outdoor pool and beach lined with plush cabanas.

    As the sun dips below the horizon, Maia is an intimate place for astrology inspired refreshments prepared by expert mixologists, including ‘Gemini’, a citrus mocktail named after the constellation, known as al-Taw‘amân in Arabic, that can be seen from Saudi Arabia’s capital all year. Designed to celebrate the wonders of the night’s sky featuring telescope and star design elements, the open-air terrace is a place to gaze above while Nujuma’s astrologer shares insights into the evening’s constellation. Inspired by vibrant bazaars, all day dining venue, Sita, is a spacious French-style patisserie and a Levantine restaurant under three woven-wood pavilions, a design nod to the tradition of leaf weaving. Guests are greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread exuding from a traditional clay oven, paired with fresh hummus and dishes seasoned from the resort’s vast spice library.

    Neyrah Spa is a tranquil sanctuary dedicated to holistic wellness to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. The serene indoor and outdoor oasis invites guests to nourish the body and soul through ceremonies and methods from around the globe while connecting with regional ingredients including the enchanting scent of oud and moringa peregrina tree oil sourced from the AlUla region. Wellness experts design bespoke journeys to rebalance and relax, and guide guests through breathing techniques, meditation, lunar yoga and sound healing therapy. The sea’s breeze and gentle sounds of waves flow through five sea-facing treatment rooms and three outdoor treatment cabins. The space also features vitality and lap pools, a hammam and a fitness centre. Designed as a voyage, bespoke treatments encourage guests to reflect on the past, live in the present, and step into the future with clarity and energy.

    “With the launch of the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the region, we are opening the doors to an unparalleled destination and inviting the world to discover The Red Sea destination,” said Tony Coveney, General Manager, Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, “Nujuma is unlike any other property in the region, a pinnacle of luxury with discovery and sustainability at its core, offering guests a transformative journey into the extraordinary set within the picture-perfect backdrop of Ummahat Island’s natural beauty. We look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy an unforgettable exploration of the destination where every moment is infused with wonder and connection.”

    Ritz-Carlton Reserve is part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of over 30 extraordinary hotel brands. For more information and reservation inquiries, please visit 

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