Saudi Arabia Railways has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Italy’s Arsenale Group, the firm behind Orient Express, to launch five-star luxury trains in 2025. It will take travelers from Riyadh to Qurayyat, with AlUla along the way.
The MoU is in line with the Kingdom’s goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan to diversify its economy away from dependence on fossil fuels. The trains will provide a unique, luxurious way for domestic tourists and international visitors to explore Saudi Arabia’s attractions, with the service to be called Dream of the Desert.
Dr Bashar bin Khaled Al Malik said the agreement reflects SAR’s commitment to promoting tourism and cultural affairs in the Kingdom. It aims to boost national tourism goals. “The signing of this MoU between SAR and Arsenale is to be considered a first step towards the introduction of a new offer within the tourism market with an experience of luxury travel.”
The agreement will bring a train with 40 luxury cabins on Saudi railways by 2025 with a journey that will cross the country from the capital Riyadh to Qurayyat.
Vision 2030 touts Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and history. It is home to hundreds of historically important sites, spanning from the ruins of ancient towns to Jeddah’s magical Al Balad, and the spectacular beauty of AlUla, one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia believes tourism will emerge as a key driver of the country’s diversified economy. This sector will be an engine of job creation and commercial growth, enhance the Kingdom’s international profile and preserve its national identity.