Saudi Arabia: the new Eldorado of luxury tourism?

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The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been the leading luxury destinations in the Middle East for many years. For a long time and still now, Dubai is the luxury hub, but Saudi Arabia is just behind. With numerous luxury hotel projects, a year-round summer climate and numerous cultural and heritage sites, Saudi Arabia is gaining more and more ground in the high-end tourism market. Focus on the largest country in the Middle East.

 

In the Middle East, the main market for luxury goods remains watches and jewelry. But tourism and hotels are also the driving forces of this industry, which attracts tourists and investors. The region, living mainly on oil, is trying to renew itself by attracting more and more people by opening gigantic hotel complexes and other structures.

 

Saudi Arabia is not the most advanced country in the Middle East in terms of innovation, but with the creation of the high-tech city of Neom, sports competitions and a certain liberation of morals, it intends to develop rapidly. And it plans to attract 100 million annual tourists by 2030.

 

Hotels and resorts synonymous with luxury par excellence

 

In just a few years, Saudi Arabia has already developed well in terms of tourism, notably through the construction of numerous hotels and resorts at the cutting edge of luxury. It has thus been able to imagine and conceptualize dream establishments.

 

One of the highly anticipated projects, announced a few years ago, is the hotel complex designed by Jean Nouvel in the heart of the Al Ula site, in the northwestern desert of Saudi Arabia. This site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see destination to immerse yourself in Saudi culture. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sand and mountains, this concept of contextual architecture consists of monumental constructions within the rock itself. It will have 40 suites, 3 villas and 14 private pavilions. However, it will be some time before we can admire and visit it, in real or virtual.

 

 

The Six Senses hotel group has also taken up residence in the Saudi Arabian desert, on the west coast, with a new luxury hotel, whose architectural approach is inspired by a desert flower. Like an oasis in the middle of the desert, it combines hotel, gastronomic and cultural activities. Called Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, it will offer 76 rooms and villas with a breathtaking view of the desert. It is expected to open in early 2023.

 

 

 

A new hotel complex called Sheybarah Island is expected to open by 2024. In the middle of the Red Sea, 45 minutes by boat from the coast of Saudi Arabia, this paradise island will be reserved for only a hundred or so privileged people. Transparent waters, white sandy beaches and coral beds, everything will be gathered for a stay. The design has been entrusted to a Dubai-based company, which has imagined this complex in self-consumption energy, around orbs that will float on the water and reflect both the sky and the sea.

 

This hotel island is part of a large-scale project to develop tourism in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea.

 

 

This is also the case of the high-tech city called Neom, one of the future pharametric projects of Saudi Arabia. While thinking about tourism, the largest country in the Middle East is also thinking about the planet and ecology. Indeed, this city of the future will not produce any carbon emissions. And for good reason: there will be no transportation except for a zero emission underground train that will travel through the city in only 20 minutes. It will be 170 km long and 500 m high, 170 m higher than the Eiffel Tower. All services such as schools and stores will be close to the residential areas. Numerous infrastructures will be present such as a soccer stadium or autonomous farms managed by artificial intelligence. Almost hard to believe, yet very real, the project amounts to more than 500 billion dollars, with a giant airport as a bonus.

 

 

 

And for even more novelty, major hotel groups such as Marriott or Accor plan to introduce many hotels on Saudi soil by the end of 2023.

 

A power struggle between Dubai and the rest of the Middle East?

 

For a long time, Dubai was considered the top tourist destination in the Middle East. But today, it is not the only one to be among the favorites. In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar is also a leading destination.

 

With the World Cup, Qatar has seen its tourism rate increase considerably and the profits generated are not likely to decrease. More than 150 hotels have been built for this global sporting event. And the country’s strategy is to continue to develop its hotel offer. The hotel market in Doha has even become one of the fastest growing in the world. According to the latest government figures, 80% of the world’s population is within a six-hour flight of the capital. A golden asset that could contribute to the country’s goal of welcoming six million people per year by 2030.

 

Dubai is still the leading tourist destination in the region and accounts for 30% of luxury consumption in the Middle East. The world’s largest hotel groups are investing and building more and more establishments each year in this city of all possibilities, a favorite of influencers.

 

Seeing the competition intensify, the most touristic of the seven Arab emirates has however more than one trick up its (luxury) sleeve. Recently, it decided to abolish the 30% tax on wines and spirits, aiming to boost its tourist and economic attractiveness to non-Muslims.

 

So some questions remain unanswered: Will Dubai remain the favorite? How will Saudi Arabia and Qatar fare? Will the rivalry that has already begun intensify? And to what extent?

 

Read also >Dubai abolishes taxes on alcohol 

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The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been the leading luxury destinations in the Middle East for many years. For a long time and still now, Dubai is the luxury hub, but Saudi Arabia is just behind. With numerous luxury hotel projects, a year-round summer climate and numerous cultural and heritage sites, Saudi Arabia is gaining more and more ground in the high-end tourism market. Focus on the largest country in the Middle East.

 

In the Middle East, the main market for luxury goods remains watches and jewelry. But tourism and hotels are also the driving forces of this industry, which attracts tourists and investors. The region, living mainly on oil, is trying to renew itself by attracting more and more people by opening gigantic hotel complexes and other structures.

 

Saudi Arabia is not the most advanced country in the Middle East in terms of innovation, but with the creation of the high-tech city of Neom, sports competitions and a certain liberation of morals, it intends to develop rapidly. And it plans to attract 100 million annual tourists by 2030.

 

Hotels and resorts synonymous with luxury par excellence

 

In just a few years, Saudi Arabia has already developed well in terms of tourism, notably through the construction of numerous hotels and resorts at the cutting edge of luxury. It has thus been able to imagine and conceptualize dream establishments.

 

One of the highly anticipated projects, announced a few years ago, is the hotel complex designed by Jean Nouvel in the heart of the Al Ula site, in the northwestern desert of Saudi Arabia. This site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see destination to immerse yourself in Saudi culture. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sand and mountains, this concept of contextual architecture consists of monumental constructions within the rock itself. It will have 40 suites, 3 villas and 14 private pavilions. However, it will be some time before we can admire and visit it, in real or virtual.

 

 

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The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been the leading luxury destinations in the Middle East for many years. For a long time and still now, Dubai is the luxury hub, but Saudi Arabia is just behind. With numerous luxury hotel projects, a year-round summer climate and numerous cultural and heritage sites, Saudi Arabia is gaining more and more ground in the high-end tourism market. Focus on the largest country in the Middle East.

 

In the Middle East, the main market for luxury goods remains watches and jewelry. But tourism and hotels are also the driving forces of this industry, which attracts tourists and investors. The region, living mainly on oil, is trying to renew itself by attracting more and more people by opening gigantic hotel complexes and other structures.

 

Saudi Arabia is not the most advanced country in the Middle East in terms of innovation, but with the creation of the high-tech city of Neom, sports competitions and a certain liberation of morals, it intends to develop rapidly. And it plans to attract 100 million annual tourists by 2030.

 

Hotels and resorts synonymous with luxury par excellence

 

In just a few years, Saudi Arabia has already developed well in terms of tourism, notably through the construction of numerous hotels and resorts at the cutting edge of luxury. It has thus been able to imagine and conceptualize dream establishments.

 

One of the highly anticipated projects, announced a few years ago, is the hotel complex designed by Jean Nouvel in the heart of the Al Ula site, in the northwestern desert of Saudi Arabia. This site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see destination to immerse yourself in Saudi culture. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sand and mountains, this concept of contextual architecture consists of monumental constructions within the rock itself. It will have 40 suites, 3 villas and 14 private pavilions. However, it will be some time before we can admire and visit it, in real or virtual.

 

 

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Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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