Despite all the promising plans and forecasts about the scientific and technical potential of the NEOM metropolis, its implementation directly depends on the investment attractiveness of the region, including tourism activity. For a long time, Saudi Arabia was a closed state in which only the so-called religious tourism was popularized. Millions of Muslims from all over the world have traditionally visited Mecca, paying tribute to long-standing traditions. But times are changing and the new state policy, as part of the Vision 2030 program, is aiming to integrate with the world community, opening borders for tourists, which will help NEOM and AMAALA.
Fortunately, the region’s potential contributes to the realization of the most daring projects that can easilycompete with the most popular resort destinations in the world. In addition to the metropolis of NEOM, the Saudis are developing the AMAALA project, which should become part of the Riviera of the Arab world. Let’s open the veil of secrets and understand the tourist potential of the new middle eastern world.
The implementation of the NEOM project directly depends on tourism activity. For a long time, Saudi Arabia was a closed state in which only so-called religious tourism was allowed. Millions of Muslims from all over the world have traditionally visited Mecca, paying tribute to long-standing traditions. . But times are changing and the new state policy, within the framework of the VISION 2030 program, is aimed at integrating with the world community, opening borders for tourists. The region’s potential contributes to the implementation of bold projects that can easily compete with the most popular resorts in the world.
Why should tourists visit Saudi Arabia?
Favorable geographical location, natural resources, and cultural traditions allow Saudi Arabia to establish itself as a serious player in the role of the tourist service provider. The Saudis, who have before their eyes a relatively successful example in the form of the UAE, especially Dubai, are already looking forward to possible bonuses from the establishment of tourism infrastructure and the alleviation of strict laws.
These trends may not be widespread throughout the Arab world, but innovative projects such as NEOM and AMAALA will certainly be open to guests with minimal Sharia influence. This will help attract multimillion-dollar tourist incomes, giving the country the billions of dollars needed to carry out bold projects.
The first five years of construction of this Neomean miracle will be focused on the development of tourism infrastructure to attract the attention of international investors. All technological marvels and scientific discoveries are promised for a second five-year plan, which should be completed by 2030. Read more in our article, NEOM – The world of robots. In this post, we will talk about more immediate plans.
First, let’s analyze the natural potential of the area and try to understand how interesting this region can be for tourists. By the way, more detailed information on this topic is available in the NEOM – Natural potential and wealth, so we recommend that you get acquainted with it after reading this article.
The nature of Saudi Arabia
The main wealth of the area selected for NEOM and AMAALA projects is undoubtedly the Red Sea with its warm waters, clean sand, and the diversity of marine life. The unique underwater world literally enchants guests of local resorts, of which there are many on the Egyptian coast. The beauty of the fish and corals that inhabit the Red Sea leaves far beyond the waters of the other seas of the northern hemisphere. The tourists will hardly be tired of watching the beauty of this underwater world.
All kinds of sea activities planned in AMAALA will be popular with guests. Tourists will be offered beach games, rich excursion programs, diving, yachting, surfing, and much more. The latest leisure accessories include a small mechanical dolphin submarine Hydrodome BOB, Flyboard, aqua skipper, wingsuiting, and kitesurfing. It is possible that underwater mini-hotels will be located on the coast of AMAALA, whose guests will be able to admire the inhabitants of the sea directly from the comfort of their room.
The enormous potential of the coast cannot be fully realized evenby such spectacular city as NEOM and AMAALA resort. The third planned project will cover an archipelago consisting of more than 90 islands. This entire tourism infrastructure of this development is collectively called the “Red Sea Project”. It will include luxury villas, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
An interview with architect Kengo Kuma revealed that they plan to build everything needed for unforgettable tourism on the archipelago, combining beautiful nature, distinctive culture, and unimaginable adventures. The works are expected to be completed by 2030 and the active construction phase has already started.
Tourism in the desert
Foreigners may be interested not only in the sea but also in the desert itself. For example, the authentic AL-ULA region is already popular, where the Winter Cultural Festival in Tantora has been taking place for the second year in a row, attracting visitors from all over Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world. In addition to the natural beauty of the area, this region amazes by its picturesque landscape and countless monuments of vanished civilizations. AL-ULA was once the heart of the ancient empire. This is where the Madain-Saleh Archaeological Complex is located – the first site in Saudi Arabia that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But we will talk about that in the next part dedicated to the monuments of the kingdom.
There is no doubt that tourism in NEOM and AMAALA will also popularize sightseeing tours to this place. Many guests of Saudi Arabia will want to experience the culture of its people, to get even closer to the most interesting history of the region.
Historical sights of Saudi Arabia
The most famous excursion destination is the Madain-Saleh complex, which is located in the AL-ULA oasis. It consists of 111 rock burial chambers and hydraulic structures from the Nabataean kingdom.
In addition to ethnographic programs or excursions, the Winter on Tantor Festival, which has been taking place since 2018, is very popular. The event is accompanied by a balloon festival, and spectacular “Fursan Endurance” races. You can also take part in it, but this is already the prerogative of rich tourists. The NEOM project with the whole Saudi riviera falls into the category of the luxury touristic destinations which is calculated for a relatively large quantity of visitors that can experience the high standards of local hospitality.
Besides Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia can offer guests in the kingdom many other attractions. Consider the most famous of them.
The largest oasis in the world AL-AHSA – is a historical area with many architectural monuments. Visiting this place helps to delve deeper into all the subtleties of Saudi culture. Historical sights to visit include the Ain Qannas Archaeological Site, the Jawatha Mosque, the historic castle, and Qasr Ibrahim Fortress.
For lovers of ancient history, the HA’IL, region, which is famous for its rock paintings, is suitable. Petroglyphs were made by locals about 10,000 years ago. All this splendor was done with simple stone hammers that helped visualize the creativity of the ancient people.
The historic AL-TURAIF, district, located northwest of the capital Riyadh, is rich in architectural monuments and history dating back to the 7th century. The attention of NEOM tourists is sure to be attracted by the Saad ibn Saud Palace, the At-Turaif guest house and spa, the Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud Mosque and the Salwa Palace.
Luxury vacation at AMAALA resort
The NEOM project is the crown jewel of the ambitious plans that the Saudis have decided to implement by 2030. The second ambitious idea is the modern resort of AMAALA, which occupies an area of 4,155 square km. The creators of this project decided to build the destination on three core pillars: “Art and Culture”, “Health and Sport”, and “Sun, sea and island lifestyle”.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has launched a reform of the local economy, culture, and infrastructure to meet global standards. It is no wonder that AMAALA, which will appear on the shores of the Red Sea, has already managed to gain the status of a Middle Eastern Riviera. The mega resort is named after the combination of the Arabic word “hope” with the ancient Sanskrit word “purity”. It represents the pure dreams of the Saudi people for continued prosperity.
The Saudis plan to raise the level of recreation to a qualitatively higher level than most other resorts worldwide. Responsibility for nature and for the human himself is elevated as the priority of these plans. Neomean society absorbs all progress and civilizational trends without abandoning the values of the Arab world, including respect for the family, a culture of communication and behavior in society. Recreation should be harmonious and of high quality, and not one that requires further rest.
The AMAALA center will provide a wide range of opportunities for youth entertainment, active recreation, and family trips. Everyone will find something interesting here and the safety of tourists will be taken care of by quality service and a first-class law enforcement system.
NEOM – Medical tourism
The practice of providing quality medical services for residents of other countries is actively popularized in the world. Given the ambitious plans of the creators of the NEOM metropolis, including a high standard of living, and the good health of Neomeans, which you can read about in the article NEOM – Science and innovation, there will be also a lot of medical tourists. One of the reasons that tribute to this fact is that the active development of biotechnology and genetic engineering is planned in the city of the future, with the help of which it will be possible to prevent diseases and solve emerging diseases.
Not every country in the world can make biomedical development so accessible and popular, especially in areas related to human genome manipulation. Saudi Arabia, therefore, has every chance to become a leading center of medical tourism and attract thousands of patients and medical and scientific enthusiasts who are ready to help these patients. This is all in the plans, but the intellectual potential of mankind shows that science has long been able to address many issues related to improving the quality of life and prolonging its duration.
NEOM – Educational tourism
A high level of science and technology means quality education. If the NEOM project promises the realization of all the wildest dreams of humanity, then the education system must be developed at the highest level. This means that people from other countries will definitely want to visit this place to get acquainted with education and science centers. An example worth following can be found in European countries where educational tourism is very popular. You can visit various universities while choosing your future place of study or undergo the study exchange program to expand your knowledge and networking opportunities.
The article NEOM Cult and education system describes in sufficient detail the features of local pedagogy, as well as a list of leading educational institutions in Saudi Arabia. With the arrival of the NEOM metropolis, new opportunities will arise and the prospects for the involvement of leading world-renowned professionals will increase the intellectual potential of the new society and therefore the interest of expats and tourists.
The multilateral NEOM and AMAALA projects as well as the Red Sea Project will certainly satisfy different interests. Tourism is far from last, because thanks to visitors and guests, Neomeans will receive additional resources to achieve their ambitious goals. Saudi Arabia is confidently moving towards integration with the world community, and opening borders to tourists only confirms the seriousness of their intentions.