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The Ritz Carlton - LogoThe Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand has made a grand entrance in the Middle East by unveiling Nujuma, an exclusive private island sanctuary in the heart of the Red Sea. This luxurious retreat on Ummahat Island offers an immersive escape that offers guests a unique opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia’s untouched wonders and rich cultural heritage.

Nujuma, named after the Arabic word for “stars,” is situated in the serene Blue Hole cluster of islands, a region famed for its pristine coral reefs and expansive star-filled skies. This exceptional Ritz-Carlton Reserve invites discerning travellers to embark on a journey of discovery in one of the world’s most secluded and protected archipelagos. Here, guests can immerse themselves in the region’s culture and traditions amidst the azure waters and natural beauty.

“As travelers increasingly seek out new destinations, we are thrilled to introduce our latest Ritz-Carlton Reserve amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Red Sea,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Senior Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. “Nujuma joins our collection of rare and luxurious Ritz-Carlton Reserve estates worldwide, offering a transformative experience where every encounter deepens the connection to the destination. We eagerly anticipate welcoming guests to this luxurious private sanctuary.”

Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve lobby.

Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve lobby.

The Red Sea is crucial to Saudi Arabia’s luxury regenerative tourism initiative. It boasts the world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system and an archipelago of over 90 untouched islands. This enchanting setting allows guests to engage in extraordinary snorkelling and scuba diving adventures, revealing vibrant coral reefs that have thrived for millennia. The reefs host a fascinating array of marine life, including over 165 endemic reef fish species, dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, and Napoleon wrasse.

Rich mangroves surround the island, known as some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. These lush habitats are home to various sea birds, marine invertebrates, and the havali guitarfish. Guests can explore the coastal mainland’s majestic desert dunes on land through guided trails.

Designed by the renowned Foster and Partners, Nujuma’s architecture and interiors are inspired by the natural environment. They feature calming sea and sand tones and geometric patterns reminiscent of regional design motifs. The resort’s canopied interiors are adorned with Arabic artifacts, traditional ceramics, woven Saudi rugs, and intricate wall hangings celebrating local craftsmanship. Pathways between the pavilions and villas are elegantly framed by indigenous plants, enhancing the sense of a natural oasis.

Accessible by chartered boat or seaplane, Nujuma features 63 overwater and beach villas, each offering one-to-three-bedroom accommodations, spacious living areas, and private pools with stunning sea views. Guests can stargaze from their villas using telescopes provided on each deck. The overwater villas, connected by an elevated ring walkway, offer panoramic sea views and direct access to the water. The beach villas, nestled on soft white sands, are secluded retreats filled with natural light and the refreshing sea breeze. Each villa is serviced by a dedicated personal host who attends to every detail and guides guests through the enriching experiences at the destination.

Nujuma’s dining philosophy reflects the Arabian tradition of communal gatherings, celebrating stories of good fortune, poetry, philosophy, and science. The Reserve’s five culinary experiences honour the heritage of the Umluj region’s fishermen. At Tabrah, a modern interpretation of a fisherman’s home, guests can enjoy seafood specialties, including “The Luckiest Catch,” a communal celebration of the sea’s daily bounty. Jamaa offers relaxed alfresco dining with light dishes prepared in an open kitchen and a wood-fired grill for guests lounging by the outdoor pool and beach cabanas.

As night falls, Maia provides an intimate setting for astrology-inspired refreshments crafted by expert mixologists. The terrace, designed to celebrate the wonders of the night sky, allows guests to gaze at the stars while Nujuma’s astrologer shares insights into the evening’s constellations. Sita, an all-day dining venue, blends French patisserie and Levantine cuisine under woven wood pavilions, evoking the tradition of leaf weaving. The aroma of freshly baked bread from a traditional clay oven greets guests, paired with fresh hummus and dishes seasoned with spices from the resort’s extensive library.

Neyrah Spa is a tranquil sanctuary dedicated to holistic wellness, offering treatments that rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Guests can enjoy bespoke wellness journeys, incorporating regional ingredients like oud and moringa peregrina tree oil from AlUla. The spa features five sea-facing treatment rooms, three outdoor treatment cabins, vitality and lap pools, a hammam, and a fitness centre. Wellness experts guide guests through breathing techniques, meditation, lunar yoga, and sound healing therapy, creating a serene environment for relaxation and reflection.

“With the launch of Nujuma, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East, we are inviting the world to experience an unparalleled destination in the Red Sea,” said Tony Coveney, General Manager of Nujuma. “This property stands as a pinnacle of luxury, discovery, and sustainability, offering guests a transformative journey amidst the natural beauty of Ummahat Island. We look forward to welcoming guests to this extraordinary 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 The Ritz-Carlton.




Written by: Michelle Warner