Saudi Arabia is set to introduce a luxurious train service, named “Dream of the Desert.” This initiative is a collaboration between the state-owned Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and the Italian Arsenale Group.
The agreement, involving an investment of 200 million Saudi riyals ($53.33 million), marks a new chapter in the Middle Eastern kingdom’s transportation and tourism industry. The inaugural route of this luxury train will start from Riyadh, moving through Hail, and ending at Al Qurayyat. The train would offer a “luxury train cruise” experience, covering a 1,300-kilometer journey from Riyadh to Al Qurayyat, showcasing the country’s landscapes. The design of the trains are hoped to reflect Saudi style and tradition, and the service will have a capacity of 82 passengers. Bookings for one or two-night trips are set to open later this year.
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An expanding infrastructure
The country opened its first railway line in 1947 and has since expanded its network, including the introduction of the high-speed Haramain railway in 2018. The kingdom is also exploring sustainable transportation options, such as hydrogen-powered trains. Arsenale’s CEO, Paolo Barletta, signed an agreement with SAR’s CEO, Bashar Al Malik, to develop this luxury travel concept in Saudi Arabia. The train will feature 40 cabins and is expected to commence operations by 2025. “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,” explained Barletta in an official statement.