Now that Saudi Arabia is open to tourism, Neom and The Line will certainly be among the country’s most visited attractions. With an eye to the future, Saudi Arabia is planning Neom as a “smart” region, involving cutting edge technologies for the nine million people who will one day live there, and the many more who will visit.
While tourism in the country was a pipe dream only a few years ago, today, ambitious projects like Neom and The Line, will draw huge crowds with unique attractions, making it a must-visit destination for every kind of traveler.
What is Neom?
Neom, Saudi Arabia, is a planned region with a focus on the future. The name of the city is made up of the prefix ‘neo’ – meaning new – and ‘m’ – the first letter of mustaqbal, the Arabic word for future. While it may sound like something out of a sci fi show, Neom is something which is going to become very real, very soon.
It will include multiple destinations such as Sindalah Island, a seaside resort, Trojena, Neom’s retreat in the mountains, The Line, the “capital” city, and OXAGON, Neom’s industrial area, which will focus on environmentally friendly production.
Where is Neom?
Saudi Arabia is building Neom on its west coast, across the Red Sea from Sharm El-Sheikh. This region of the Red Sea has a lot of tourist hotspots packed into a small area, with Jordan’s Aqaba, and Israel’s Eilat also within a couple hundred miles. As rumors of Saudi-Israeli normalization swirl, it is not difficult to imagine a future where it is even easier to move between all the countries with Red Sea paradises.
With well connected airports all over the region, making a future visit to Neom as part of a broader Middle East trip isn’t a bad idea. If you’re looking to focus on other areas of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh will be worth checking out for city lovers seeking more established metropolises (which are also dipping their toes into futurism).
If you have a soft spot for sand dunes and want to explore more desert terrain, a tour of the Hegra region, including the ancient Nabatean ruins of Al Ula, may be a great addition to your itinerary.
Neom’s Big 4: Sindalah Island, OXAGON, Trojena & The Line
People are using Neom as an umbrella term to encompass the many projects that Saudi Arabia will build as part of this development, which will be 33 times as big as New York City.
- The Line will be Neom’s epicenter and some people consider it the future capital of the region. The Line is a 170-km city built in a linear shape with buildings 1,640 feet high. Aside from the unique, thin design, there are some other headline-grabbing features of this city such as how Neom will ban cars.
- Sindalah Island will be constructed as Saudi Arabia’s luxury island destination in the Red Sea. Sindalah will offer a golf course, a marina, three exclusive hotels, and expects to host 2,400 visitors every day by 2028. It will be perfect for the sun chasers and those who love water activities.
- Trojena will offer an alternative adventure for tourists with hiking trails and mountainous views. The region will be made of natural wonders to cater to experiential seasons throughout the year. These will include wellness season, winter season, adventure season, and lake season.
- OXAGON will be where Saudi Arabia explores the circular economy, with an emphasis on exploring how industry and technology can co-exist with the natural environment. It will also double as the largest cruise port in the Red Sea.
Things to do in Neom
Neom city is going to become one of those travel destinations with something for every type of traveler. Sindalah has the capability to become the Maldives of the Middle East, where people who enjoy sunbathing and snorkeling can take in the turquoise waters of the Red Sea. OXAGON will be an interesting option for entrepreneurs and industrialists to explore. Moreover, The Line will serve as an obvious option for architecture buffs and those who are drawn to urban areas.
If you want to see Saudi Arabia’s brilliant urban spaces that already exist, consider visiting Riyadh and taking this Insider Riyadh Private City Tour for an unforgettable experience. Trojena, Neom, will bring not only skiing enthusiasts to the mountains but also those seeking cultural events like food and music festivals during the Lake Season. Similar to Trojena, the magnificent Al Ahsa Oasis can be discovered and explored today. Join this Insider Al Ahsa Private Tour for lush greenery and excellent views.
When will Neom be Open for Tourism?
The construction of Neom is already underway and some of its projects will become visible as early as next year. OXAGON will be the first of the projects to become livable with residents beginning to move in as early as 2024. Trojena will be open to visitors in 2026, and the first parts of The Line will open the same year.
Saudi Arabia expects Neom to be home to a million people by 2030, slightly smaller than San Diego. With all of the effort that the kingdom is planning to implement, there’s every reason to expect Neom and The Line to be just as cosmopolitan and worth visiting as many other urban hubs of the world.
Saudi Arabia is Making a Beeline for The Line
So what is in store for The Line and Neom’s future? Well, a surplus of tourism as well as opportunities for new innovations and breakthroughs. The kingdom is betting big on the project to make Neom an incredible place to visit. Picture a new, shiny, and more nature-focused Dubai.
In the meantime, there are other incredible sites to check out in Saudi Arabia to whet your appetite for Neom. Or, if you want to visit the kingdom before Neom is up and running, tour one of Saudi Arabia’s exhilarating neighbors while you wait.