For decades, Saudi Arabia has been known for two things: its vast oil resources and the Islamic holy places of Mecca and Medina. Most people visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for work or religious purposes. The thought of traveling to Saudi for leisure and tourism was foreign until 2019 when the country introduced its tourism visa. With this visa, citizens of more than 40 countries can visit Saudi Arabia purely for the purpose of tourism. Since then, Saudi Arabia has introduced several ambitious projects to build the country’s tourism sector. Building a futurist city (NEOM), developing luxury resorts along the Red Sea Coast, and restoring ancient historical and cultural sites are a few initiatives of Saudi to attract tourists.

Dream of the Desert, a luxury Saudi Arabia train project

is the latest to join the list.

Middle East’s First Luxury Train

Dream of the DesertImage Credit:

In the beginning of 2024, Saudi Arabia announced its decision to introduce Dream of the Desert, the country’s first luxury train. In fact, it is also the first luxury train in the Middle East region. This is a SAR, or Saudi Arabia Railway project, in collaboration with Arsenale Group, an Italian company that specializes in developing luxury hospitality assets. The project is commissioned for 200 million Saudi Riyals, which is $53.33 million.

Luxury Train Design

Luxury-Train-Design-Saudi-ArabiaImage Credit:

The luxury train, Dream of the Desert, promises the opulence we expect in five-star hotels. It is where luxury and comfort come together to ensure an unparalleled experience. With 40 customized compartments reflecting traditional Saudi architectural designs and modern amenities, the train can host up to 82 passengers. Apart from the elegantly appointed cabins, the train will also feature gourmet restaurants, entertainment areas, and lounges.

Luxury Train Route

Route Image Credit:

Dream of the Desert will begin in the capital city of Riyadh. The route planned for its journey goes up to 1300 km. The last stop of the luxury train will be in Qurrayat. It will take two days to complete the entire route, and the train will journey through Al Wassim, Hail, and Al Jouf before reaching its destination.

The Purpose of Saudi Arabia’s Luxury Train

The luxury train is one of Saudi Arabia’s many endeavors to promote tourism and attract people who want to explore the country. It is also a way of promoting environmental-friendly transport systems. The route of the train is meticulously curated to ensure passengers an immersive ride through the region’s diverse and unspoiled desert landscapes. Dream of the Desert also promises a unique experience where you wine and dine and enjoy all the luxurious comforts while traveling from one part of the country to another. In short, this luxury train can be easily called a cruise on wheels.

Dream of the Desert is all set to make its debut on Saudi rail at the end of 2025. The booking for the train will begin somewhere in 2024. Reserve your spot early to be one of the first passengers on this epic train that puts Saudi Arabia one step ahead on the tourism map.

A content writer by profession, Deepa has been writing for the travel nice for more than a decade. While she has a bucket list for the places she wants to visit, she also loves the idea of curling up on the couch with a good book. She believes that nothing can lift up your mood better than a good holiday, a great book, and your favorite dish.

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