Traveling to Saudi Arabia was almost unheard of, except when visiting on business or heading to the holy city of Mecca for a pilgrimage. The country’s extraordinary landscapes, such as the Nabataean ruins of AlUla, the 1,100-mile Red Sea coast, the date palms of the oasis of Al-Ahsa, and the terraced mountain farms of the south, attract little foreign visitors. it was not known. However, since the launch of e-Visas in 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ramped up its tourism business, aiming to welcome 100,000 annual visitors by 2030. As part of this goal, the country is embarking on an ambitious destination building program. , facilitating access to its ancient heritage.
From historic cities to protected marine parks to futuristic urban developments springing from the desert, here are five new destinations you should know about.
NEOM is such a futuristic project that many people are scratching their heads and wondering if it’s really real. (To prove the naysayers wrong, NEOM recently released a video showing “NEOM is real”, highlighting all concrete developments to date.) Possibilities is intended to expand the area of , and that seems to be the point. There are staggering numbers associated with the Rhine, a new, completely car-free city that is 105 miles long, 1,640 feet high and just 650 feet wide. The line has a mirrored façade, runs on 100% renewable energy, is home to 9 million people, and is traversed end-to-end in just 20 minutes by high-speed trains.
Then there is the NEOM project’s mountainous region of Troyena and the Arabian Peninsula’s first winter sports destination. It will open in 2026 and incorporate a 7,874-foot high ski village with 18 miles of trails to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games. Facilities for water sports, wellness, hiking and mountain biking are also under construction. The first hotels, 25hours and Morgans, have already been confirmed.
However, Syndara will be the first phase of NEOM to welcome visitors in early 2024. Centered around a gorgeous island and positioned as a year-round yachting hub, Sindara aims to attract sailing communities and yacht owners from the Mediterranean and beyond, who can glide through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. An 86-berth marina and 75 offshore buoys welcome them, along with luxury hotels, restaurants and retail outlets, as well as spa, wellness, golf and sports facilities.
Spanning 10,800 square miles, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea destination sits on the edge of the world’s fourth-largest breakwater reef and is made up of 90 islands and desert landscapes. Dormant volcanoes, mountain canyons, inland heritage sites, and offshore marine life-filled dive sites abound, for the adventurous traveler. But it doesn’t have to be rough. The destination has 16 luxury resorts. The first of his three, Six Senses Southern Dunes, St. Regis Red Sea Resort and Nujma Aritz-Carlton Reserve, are set to open this year. The architects of Dubai’s new Museum of the Future are set to debut in 2024. The entire Red Sea development will run on renewable energy, including all facilities, transportation and ultimately seaplanes.
Located 125 miles north of the Red Sea, the 1,500-square-mile Amara is located in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nature Reserve. AMAALA aims to be the “World’s First Integrated Family Health Destination” with a holistic wellness experience, professional consultations, personalized wellness programs and a year-round calendar of events. The first phase, set around Triple Bay Marina, is scheduled to open in mid-2024. One of the big attractions of this destination is the Foster + Partners-designed Red Sea Marine Biology Laboratory. This is a conservation-driven research and visitor center that incorporates a multidimensional experience. This means you can snorkel with rare species, take lab tours, and explore the underwater world on a submarine.
The first maritime gateway to Mecca along the Red Sea, Jeddah has been a conduit for generations of traveling pilgrims, many of whom have chosen to stay and appreciate the multicultural spirit that exists here. Contributing. Today, Jeddah feels like a place determined to become a future destination while proudly preserving its history and heritage.
The historic center of Alvarado is one of the most attractive urban destinations in the country. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 650 buildings that are 200-300 years old. Al Balad, once the heart of the city, has fallen into disrepair in recent years and the Ministry of Culture has launched a major program to rescue and restore the most endangered buildings.
But Al-Balad is more than just history. The district has already hosted the Red Sea Film Festival and the Ballad Beast Electronic Music Festival, featuring big names like Busta Rhymes, Carl His Cox, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and popular male and female Saudi Arabian DJs. increase. There are many more, including new boutique hotels.
Located on the edge of the capital Riyadh, Diriyah and its UNESCO World Heritage Site At-to-Life are places of great historical and cultural importance to the country. Considered the birthplace of the kingdom, this is the former home of the Al Saud royal family and the place where the first Saudi state was founded in 1727. The restored Salwa Palace is a showcase of traditional Najdi day mud brick architecture. Opening late 2022. Today, it welcomes international visitors with museums and tours led by enthusiastic young Saudi guides. Overlooking At-Turaif is the new Bujairi Terrace Dining His Village with over 20 restaurants. It includes international big names such as Hakkasan and Long Chim, as well as domestic brands such as Maiz and Takya, which serve upscale Saudi cuisine.
Although tourism is its main feature, Diriyah transformed the face of the capital itself, eventually boasting 38 hotels (including luxury brands Four Seasons, Oberoi, Six Senses and Rosewood), over 26 cultural attractions and 400 of luxury and lifestyle outlets. Palm groves and parks, as well as the kingdom’s first opera house and modern art museum. Additionally, community centers, academies, colleges and a new metro line will serve the 100,000 residents who are expected to make Diriyah home in the next few years.