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The first thing those flying towards the Amaala airport in Saudi Arabia will notice is an undulating, glimmering form in the distance that looks almost like an optical illusion, much like the experience of seeing a mirage in the desert.

It is just this, a mirage, that inspired the airport design for the ultra-luxury Red Sea development on the northwestern coast of the kingdom. The renderings have just been unveiled, with the terminal and control tower masterminded by UK-based Foster + Partners, while the master plan has been designed by Egis.

The airport should be operational by 2023, and plans to accommodate one million travellers per year.

A spacious light-filled courtyard will anchor the interior space of the terminal, which will cater to the ultra-high-net-worth travellers Amaala aims to attract with climate-controlled hangars where the top 0.1 per cent can park their private jets. It's tough at the top.

"The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club – luxurious and relaxing," says Gerard Evenden of Foster + Partners. "The design seeks to establish a new model for private terminals that provides a seamless experience from resort to airplane."

Source: The National

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