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"Dream of the Desert": Saudi Arabia gets luxury train

Updated: Mar 19

This is what the Dream of the Desert will look like
© Arsenale S.P.A. / Saudi Arabia Railways

From the end of 2025, it is planned that a luxury train will cover a distance of around 1,300 kilometers through the Saudi Arabian desert. This project represents another significant step towards revitalizing the tourism sector in the Islamic kingdom.

Saudi Arabian Railways (SAR), Saudi Arabia's state railway organization, recently reached an agreement worth 200 million Saudi riyals (the equivalent of around 46 million Swiss francs) with the Italian hotel group Arsenale Group. The aim of this partnership is to introduce Saudi Arabia's first luxury train.

According to reports from Saudi news sources, the new train is scheduled to enter service at the end of 2025. The luxury train, dubbed the “Dream of the Desert,” will offer exclusive travel from Riyadh, the capital, to Qurayyat on the Jordanian border. According to a report by CNN, the route, which stretches over 1,300 kilometers, will pass through the desert areas of Saudi Arabia and past the city of Ha'il.

This train will feature 40 luxury cabins, accommodating a total of 82 passengers, and will feature an opulent design inspired by Saudi culture and tradition. Production of the cars is currently underway. Bookings are expected to be possible towards the end of 2024. Paolo Barletta, the CEO of Arsenale Group, said that one- and two-night travel packages will be available.

Almost six years after the inauguration of the Haramain high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina with the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the announcement of a luxury train in Saudi Arabia comes.

The Kingdom's railway system is characterized by its modernity and allows speeds of up to 300 km/h. In addition, further route extensions and new railway projects are in the planning or expansion phase.


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