It wasn’t way back that journey to Saudi Arabia was just about unparalleled except you had been visiting on enterprise or heading to the holy metropolis of Makkah for the Hajj pilgrimage. The nation’s extraordinary landscapes—together with the Nabataean ruins of AlUla, the 1,100-mile Purple Coastline, the date palms of the Al Ahsa oasis, and the terraced mountain farms within the south—had been largely unexplored by worldwide vacationers. However because the launch of e-visas in 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been on a tourism quick monitor, aiming to welcome 100,000 guests a yr by 2030. As a part of this aim, the nation is embarking on bold destination-building packages, whereas additionally making its historic heritage websites extra accessible.

From historic cities and guarded marine parks to futuristic city developments springing out of the desert, listed below are 5 of the rising locations to know.

The Line will be a car-free city in Saudi Arabia that stretches for 105 miles and is only 650 feet wide.

The Line is a car-free metropolis in Saudi Arabia that stretches for 105 miles and is just 650 ft vast.


NEOM is a mission so futuristic that it has left many individuals scratching their heads and questioning if it’s truly actual. (To show the naysayers improper, NEOM recently released a video exhibiting that “NEOM is actual”, that includes all of the tangible developments up to now.) It goals to stretch the realm of risk, and that appears to be the purpose. There are the mind-boggling numbers related to the Line, a brand new utterly car-free metropolis that will probably be 105 miles lengthy, 1,640 ft excessive, and solely 650 ft vast. The Line could have a mirrored facade, run on 100% renewable power, be dwelling to 9 million folks, and have a high-speed prepare touring from end-to-end in simply 20 minutes.

Then there’s Trojena, the mountainous a part of the NEOM mission, and the Arabian Peninsula’s first winter sports activities vacation spot. Opening in 2026, it would incorporate a 7,874-feet-high ski village with 18 miles of runs that may host the 2029 Asian Winter Video games. Additionally within the works are amenities for water sports activities, wellness, mountain climbing, and mountain biking. The primary resorts—25hours and Morgans—are already confirmed.

However the first part of NEOM to welcome guests in early 2024 will probably be Sindalah. Centered round a luxurious island and positioned as a year-round yachting hub, Sindalah goals to draw a crusing neighborhood and yacht house owners from the Mediterranean and past who can glide by way of the Suez Canal and down into the Purple Sea. An 86-berth marina and 75 offshore buoys will probably be there to welcome them, together with luxurious resorts, eating places, and retail, plus amenities for spa, wellness, golf, and sports activities.

The Purple Sea

Spanning 10,800 sq. miles, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea vacation spot sits on the sting of the world’s fourth largest barrier coral reef and is made up of 90 islands and desert landscapes. With dormant volcanoes, mountain canyons, and historic cultural websites inland plus dive websites crammed with marine life offshore, there’s a lot for adventurous vacationers to expertise. They received’t must tough it, although. The vacation spot will probably be dwelling to 16 luxurious resorts. The primary three—Six Senses Southern Dunes, the St. Regis Purple Sea Resort, and Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve—are slated to open this yr, and the futuristic stainless-steel pod-like villas of the Sheybarah Island resort, designed by the architect of Dubai’s new Museum of the Future, are scheduled to debut in 2024. The complete Purple Sea improvement will run on renewable power, together with all amenities, transportation, and, finally, seaplanes.


Mendacity 125 miles to the north of the Purple Sea, the 1,500 sq. miles of Amaala are situated within the Prince Mohammad bin Salman Pure Reserve. AMAALA goals to be the “world’s first built-in household wellness vacation spot,” with a program of holistic well-being experiences, skilled consultations, customized well being packages, and a year-round calendar of occasions. The primary phases, set across the Triple Bay marina, are scheduled to open mid-2024. One large draw of the vacation spot would be the Foster + Companions–designed Purple Sea Marine Life Institute, a conservation-driven analysis and customer heart incorporating multidimensional experiences. What meaning in actual phrases is that you simply’ll be capable of snorkel with uncommon species, take part in lab excursions, and discover the underwater world in a submarine.

Jeddah is a historic maritime city located along the Red Sea.

Jeddah is a historic maritime metropolis situated alongside the Purple Sea.

Photograph by Sainuddeen Alanthi/Shutterstock


The unique maritime gateway to Makkah alongside the Purple Sea, Jeddah has been a conduit for generations of pilgrims making the journey, a lot of them selecting to remain and contributing to the multicultural spirit that exists right here. At this time, Jeddah looks like a spot that’s decided to develop into a vacation spot for the longer term, whereas proudly holding onto its historical past and heritage.

The town’s historic heart of Al-Balad is among the most fascinating city locations within the nation: The UNESCO World Heritage web site is crammed with greater than 650 buildings courting again 200 to 300 years. As soon as the guts of town, Al-Balad had fallen into disrepair in recent times, and the Ministry of Tradition has launched a serious program to rescue and restore essentially the most at-risk buildings.

However Al-Balad isn’t solely about historical past. The neighborhood has already hosted the Red Sea Film Festival and the Balad Beast digital music competition, with a lineup of massive names like Busta Rhymes, Carl Cox, and DJ Jazzy Jeff, in addition to standard female and male Saudi DJs. There’s a lot extra on the horizon, together with new boutique resorts.

Diriyah is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was the original home of the Al Saud royal family.

Diriyah is a UNESCO World Heritage web site that was the unique dwelling of the Al Saud royal household.

Courtesy of Fauchon Hospitality


Situated on the sting of the capital Riyadh, Diriyah and its UNESCO World Heritage web site At-Turaif are of giant historic and cultural significance to the nation. Thought-about to be the birthplace of the dominion, this was the the unique dwelling of the Al Saud royal household and the positioning of the institution of the primary Saudi state in 1727. The restored Salwa Palace, a showcase of conventional Najdi mud-brick structure, opened in late 2022. Now it welcomes worldwide guests, with museums and excursions led by enthusiastic younger Saudi guides. Overlooking At-Turaif is the brand new Bujairi Terrace eating village, dwelling to greater than 20 eating places. They embrace worldwide large names like Hakkasan and Lengthy Chim and such homegrown manufacturers as Maiz and Takya that serve high-end Saudi delicacies.

Whereas tourism is a key function, Diriyah will change the face of the capital itself, finally incorporating 38 resorts (together with luxurious manufacturers 4 Seasons, Oberoi, Six Senses, and Rosewood), greater than 26 cultural sights and 400 luxurious and life-style retailers, plentiful palm groves and parks, and the dominion’s first opera home and modern artwork museum. As well as, neighborhood facilities, academies, universities, and a brand new metro line will serve the 100,000 inhabitants anticipated to make Diriyah their dwelling within the coming years.

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