Saudi Arabia announces region’s first luxury train service

A rendering of ‘Dream of the Desert’, the region’s first luxury rail cruise product

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and Arsenale S.p.A. have signed an agreement for the construction of the Kingdom’s first luxury train. From the capital Riyadh to Qurayyat at the northern border with Jordan, ‘Dream of the Desert’ will travel with 40 luxury cabins, when fully operational at the end of 2025.

Bashar bin Khalid Al Malik, CEO of SAR, and Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale have signed the documents that officially welcome Dream of the Desert as the new luxury rail cruise project, in the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.

Reservations will be opened at the end of the current calendar year for the beautiful desert journey to the greenest area of the country in the northern territories, passing through the city of Hail and its architectural landmarks built on mountains.

Saudi Arabia will be the first country to have a luxury train cruise service in response to the new trend of slow tourism and experiential travel. This innovative and revolutionary project will guarantee the expansion of the Saudi tourism market.

Railways have a longstanding history in Saudi Arabia, having been present for over 70 years.

Dream of the Desert will be fully customised and inspireds according to Saudi style and tradition. The production, workforce, quality of onboard services, interior design, and know-how will be strictly made in Italy.

According with SAR, this agreement comes within the commitment of Saudi Arabia Railways to achieve the aspirations of Saudi Vision 2030 and the objectives of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services, in which the development of the tourism and culture sector is one of its most important objectives.

Dr Al-Malik stressed on Saudi Arabia Railways commitment to its pioneering national role in implementing initiatives emanating from the company’s strategy linked to the national strategy for transport and logistics services (NTLS), noting that the “The Dream of the Desert” train will represent a great addition to the company’s services as it adds an important tourism and entertainment option to its list of services provided to its customers.

Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale added: “We are thankful for the opportunity to enhance the international presence of Arsenale with the first luxury train in Saudi Arabia. I would like to express my gratitude to HE Saleh Al Jasser and SAR’s CEO, Bashar bin Khalid Al Malik, who promptly embraced and believed in this project and all the authorities and stakeholders in the tourism sector who have welcomed and supported us in realizing this significant vision. The initial production phases of the Dream of the Desert carriages in Italy have recently commenced, and we can’t wait for the debut of our first train in the kingdom in the coming years.”