Orient Express style luxury train to journey across Saudi Arabia

Orient Express style luxury train to journey across Saudi Arabia

06 April 23

Set to launch in 2025, a new Orient Express-style train named ‘Dream of the Desert’ will take travellers on a scenic journey from Riyadh to Al Qurayyat in Saudi Arabia, stopping at Al Qassim, Hail and Al Jouf along the way.

The US$51 million project has emerged from a recently signed a memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and the Arsenale Group, the Italian development and management company behind the Orient Express “La Dolce Vita” trains that are debuting in Italy in 2024, as well as Soho House Roma.

The first luxury train of its kind in the Middle East, the ‘Dream of the Desert’ train will offer a passenger experience comparable to Orient Express “La Dolce Vita”; 12 golden-era carriages complete with hotel-style sleeper cabins and suites, as well as a fine-dining restaurant - although in this case, the expectation is that Saudi Arabian cuisine will be served, rather than Italian.

Described in a promotional video as a “journey like no other”, this five-star luxury train will take passengers into “the very heart of this world of treasures”. Guests will enjoy “their very own Arabian adventure”, as the train travels 1,300km past sand dunes, ancient sites and futuristic cities.

Bashar bin Khaled Al Malik, CEO of SAR, said: “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 by train.”

The Saudi Press Agency stated in a release: “The agreement reflects SAR’s commitment to promoting tourism and cultural affairs in the Kingdom and aims to boost national tourism goals. The luxury train will offer visitors and residents of the Kingdom a unique opportunity to explore a range of tourist attractions within a framework of integrated luxury transportation services.”