Bear Grylls Survival Academy is heading to Saudi Arabia

Red Sea Global and Amaala to become the exclusive agent for the world-famous survival and adventure brand

Red Sea Global has entered an exclusive partnership with Bear Grylls Survival Academy. Photo: Red Sea Global
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Famed survivalist Bear Grylls is taking his world-famous outdoor adventure brand to Saudi Arabia.

Red Sea Global, The Red Sea and Amaala have become the exclusive agent for Bear Grylls Survival Academy, and are planning several branches across the kingdom.

The brand, which exists in the region in Ras Al Khaimah, offers a variety of courses on wilderness education and survival skills, as well as team building opportunities. These courses have all been designed by Grylls, a former soldier turned television host known for his survival shows that have starred famous guests including India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kate Winslet and Zac Efron, to name a few.

Red Sea Global has also said it is committed to making sure all of these activities are wholly inclusive and accessible for guests with disabilities.

"From its steep mountains to its deep wadi valleys, across sand dunes, canyons and coastlines, The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia has some of the most diverse natural environments we’ve ever seen," said Paul Gardiner, managing director of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

"The fact that Red Sea Global has pledged to make this a wholly inclusive guest experience aligns perfectly with the academy’s mission to bring a sense of achievement and the principle of 'never give up' to as many people as we can."

John Pagano, group chief executive of Red Sea Global, added: "We believe that everyone should have the chance to follow their sense of adventure and will work with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy team to develop outdoor experiences for all, whether adults or young people, and irrespective of physical and cognitive ability."

The partnership could create hundreds of jobs for Saudis in a new industry, says the developer, as it plans to recruit and train local outdoor enthusiasts in survival skills and expedition leadership.

In 2020, the world’s first Bear Grylls Explorers Camp opened in Ras Al Khaimah, offering visitors of all ages and abilities the chance to learn some of the British adventurer's top tips and techniques, via a selection of courses set on the Jebel Jais mountain. This was followed in 2021 by branded accommodation for overnight stays made up of 20 recycled and repurposed shipping containers.

The Red Sea development, located on Saudi Arabia's western coast, was announced as the kingdom's newest tourism megaproject by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017. It has since become one of the world's most ambitious regenerative tourism projects, developed over 28,000 square kilometres of land, including an archipelago of more than 90 islands, promising turquoise-lined coastlines, unrivalled marine life and a variety of upscale accommodation options.

It is on track to open this year, as the Red Sea International Airport welcomes its first leisure passengers – on domestic flights from Riyadh and Jeddah – and the first hotels launch, beginning with Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea in December.

When fully completed in 2030, the project will feature 50 resorts and 8,000 hotel rooms spread over 22 islands and six inland sites.

Updated: September 20, 2023, 2:17 PM