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Is Saudi Arabia’s Slow, Luxury Train Through the Desert the Ultimate Travel Experience?

In the realm of travel, speed often takes precedence. From high-speed trains to supersonic flights, modern travelers are accustomed to reaching their destinations quickly. However, a new train is emerging from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, offering a different kind of luxury travel experience. The “Dream of the Desert” train, scheduled to begin operations in late 2025, will take passengers on a leisurely journey through Saudi Arabia’s awe-inspiring deserts, embracing the growing trend of sustainable and slow travel.

A Different Approach to Luxury Train Travel

The “Dream of the Desert” train is being crafted in Italy by the prestigious hospitality company Arsenale Group, commissioned by Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR). This train will feature 40 custom luxury cabins and will traverse the kingdom’s desert interior at a leisurely pace. Passengers onboard will have the opportunity to indulge in a blend of comfort, luxury, and cultural immersion.

A Scenic Route Through Saudi Arabia’s Deserts

The “Dream of the Desert” will embark on an 800-mile journey from Riyadh to Al Qurayyat, with stops along the way. The meticulously planned route, spanning one to two days, will showcase cultural gems such as Al Qassim, Hail, and Al Jouf, culminating near the border with Jordan, close to the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Nature Reserve. This scenic route will offer passengers breathtaking views of Saudi Arabia’s diverse landscapes.

The Rise of Slow and Sustainable Travel

The emergence of the “Dream of the Desert” comes at a time when the global travel landscape is shifting towards more meaningful and immersive experiences. As the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, travelers are seeking authentic and sustainable travel options. Luxury train travel, with its emphasis on unhurried exploration and indulgent hospitality, is becoming a prominent trend in post-pandemic travel.

Famous Slow Train Journeys

While the “Dream of the Desert” train is set to redefine luxury train travel in Saudi Arabia, there are already several famous slow train journeys around the world. These journeys offer passengers the opportunity to savor the journey as much as the destination. Some notable examples include:
1. The Orient Express: Synonymous with luxury travel, the Orient Express has been enchanting passengers since its inaugural journey in 1883. With its plush carriages, sumptuous interiors, and attentive service, the Orient Express epitomizes the golden age of rail travel.
2. The Marrakesh Express: Departing from Marrakesh, this iconic train journey winds through the scenic landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, offering passengers a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and flavors of Morocco.
3. The Trans-Siberian Railway: Spanning over 9,000 kilometers across Russia, the Trans-Siberian Railway traverses diverse landscapes, including dense forests, sweeping plains, and majestic mountains, offering passengers an immersive experience of Russia’s rich history and culture.
4. The Blue Train (South Africa): Synonymous with elegance and luxury, the Blue Train offers a glamorous way to explore South Africa’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture.
5. The Glacier Express (Switzerland): This breathtaking journey through the Swiss Alps offers panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and picturesque villages, showcasing Switzerland’s natural beauty and alpine charm.
6. The Royal Scotsman (Scotland): This boutique train journey takes passengers through the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland, offering an intimate and exclusive way to explore the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The “Dream of the Desert” train in Saudi Arabia promises to offer a unique and unforgettable luxury travel experience. As travelers increasingly seek meaningful and immersive journeys, luxury train travel is poised to become a prominent trend in post-pandemic travel. Whether exploring the deserts of Saudi Arabia or embarking on famous slow train journeys around the world, these experiences allow passengers to savor the journey, creating lasting memories along the way.

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By Maya Di Maria

Hello, I'm Maya, a 39-year-old Travel Agent. I specialize in creating unforgettable travel experiences for my clients. With my expertise and attention to detail, I ensure that every trip is tailored to meet their unique needs and preferences. Let's turn your travel dreams into reality!