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NAWA – An Eco-Resort Project at Port Al Uqair, Saudi Arabia - Overview Perspective

Site Plan


Perspective Public Areas


Perspective Cultural Area

Perspective Lobby and Entrance Area

Detail Section

Perspective Mosque

Landscape Perspective - Area on the Ring

Lagoon Perspective

Villa Perspective


An Eco-Resort Project at Port Al Uqair, Saudi Arabia

Master of Architecture Thesis Project

Inspired by palm tree oases, NAWA is an eco-resort project with private accommodation units as well as public facilities. Its main goal is to build a destination for nature tourists that would conserve the environment and, at the same time, create opportunities for locals. In addition, emphasis is placed on protecting the native ecology and promoting the local culture through education, volunteering, sports, and other recreational activities.

In this study, tourism's environmental impact is considered a social-ecological phenomenon that can be categorized into natural and social-cultural impacts. Ecotourism is introduced as a type of sustainable tourism in that its policies and principles for development are based on the conservation of environmental heritage (including natural and cultural heritage) via the engagement of local people and communities in the tourism development process. The proposed framework integrates ecology and culture for sustainable development, placing the conservation of natural resources as the primary outcome of ecotourism.

Using an ecological perspective, this thesis views culture as a system linking a group of people or a community to their surroundings using local materials and energies. Therefore, the primary cultural outcomes for ecotourism development should be conserving heritage and making the host people aware of their cultural values. In addition, social events, preservation of heritage, and producing and consuming local products will contribute to achieving these outcomes.

Thesis Advisor: Mark Mueckenheim
Graduate School of Architecture Prize for Outstanding Thesis Project

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