Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to initiate a series of large-scale projects aimed at elevating the country’s position as a global economic force through significant investments. These initiatives intend to diversify the economy by decreasing reliance on oil, generate employment opportunities, and enhance its reputation as a prominent center for tourism and trade. As such, let’s explore 15 upcoming megaprojects that will revolutionize the country.
Saudi Arabia’s AlUla, a heritage site with a rich history of over 200,000 years, is being transformed into an international tourist destination through the ‘Journey through Time’ masterplan led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The plan aims to make the site more accessible to tourists and contribute $32 billion to the national GDP while opening 38,000 jobs by 2035. AlUla will be divided into five districts, including AlUla Old Town and Hegra Historical City, and will feature 15 new cultural areas, museums, galleries, and cultural centers. Additionally, the Wadi of Hospitality will connect the districts via a 20-kilometer-long public realm.
Red Sea Global (RSG), formed by the merger of AMAALA and the Red Sea Development Company, aims to set new global standards in sustainable development and create massive economic opportunities in northwest Saudi Arabia. Spanning 3,800-square kilometers, AMAALA will become a vibrant destination for recreation, wellness, and celebration of cultural heritage, and is poised to become a leading hospitality destination globally.
3. Red Sea Project
A sustainable luxury resort is being developed in the Red Sea region, spanning 30,000 square kilometres and featuring natural islands, a desert landscape, mountain peaks and archaeological sites. The Red Sea Project is designed to attract visitors year-round with a focus on heritage, culture, and conservation. The resort will offer 8,000 new hotel rooms and will be the first fully integrated, luxury, mixed-use resort in the region. Sustainability is a top priority, with a zero waste-to-landfill policy, 100% carbon neutrality, and a ban on single-use plastics. The Red Sea Project is expected to be completed by 2030 and will become a must-see destination for visitors interested in exploring the region’s historical and cultural heritage.
Diriyah, located just 20 minutes northwest of Riyadh’s city center, is set to become a unique destination that celebrates Saudi Arabia’s culture and history. The project, under the mandate of Diriyah Gate Development Authority and as one of the Public Investment Fund’s projects, aims to target 27 million local and international visitors by 2030, contributing to the national tourism strategy of hosting 100 million worldwide tourists in the Kingdom by 2030.
At the heart of the development is the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, an iconic mud-brick city that dates back 300 years and is the home of the First House of the Al Saud family. The site has been preserved and restored to provide future generations with inspiring heritage experiences, educational and cultural opportunities, and outstanding lifestyle offerings.
Diriyah combines traditional Najdi architectural typology and new urbanism to create an emotional connection with visitors and residents while promoting and celebrating the destination’s rich heritage. The development includes world-class residential living, shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences, offering residents and visitors an exceptional quality of life.
By 2030, Diriyah is set to become one of the world’s great gathering places, showcasing the origins of modern Saudi Arabia and the spiritual values in which it is rooted.
5. King Salman Energy Park
SPARK, or the King Salman Energy Park, is a new industrial ecosystem aimed at becoming a hub for the global energy market. Its strategic location and the region’s reputation for oil and gas resources make it a prime location for growth opportunities, support services, and supply chain efficiencies. With access to energy players across the world and convenient links to major transport hubs, SPARK is set to contribute over $6 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP annually and create up to 100,000 jobs. Its goal is to become a leading industrial ecosystem with sustainability at its core, providing world-class infrastructure and services to help investors grow their businesses and benefit the communities it serves. As SPARK gears up for its grand opening, energy sector players are encouraged to seize this exceptional opportunity to expand their businesses, taking advantage of its location, support services, and vision for excellence and innovation.
6. THE LINE
The Line is an upcoming linear city in Saudi Arabia, which will be a part of the $500 billion NEOM project. The futuristic city is being built in the kingdom’s north-west Tabuk province and is designed to be sustainable, prioritizing health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure. The city will run on 100 percent renewable energy and will have no roads, cars or emissions. With a mirror facade, The Line will blend seamlessly into the surrounding nature. Built as a series of pre-engineered modular pieces, the city will be 200 meters wide, 170 kilometers long and 500 meters above sea level, with a high-speed rail system for transportation. According to NEOM’s executive director Giles Pendleton, The Line will use a lot of artificial intelligence to design it through a digital twin backbone and will have a “one door-lock system.”
TROJENA, part of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM megaproject, is a snow-covered tourist destination located around 50 kilometres from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, with elevations ranging from 1,500 to 2,600 metres and covering nearly 60 square kilometres. The area is being transformed ahead of the 2029 Asian Winter Games, for which Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Middle East to host, featuring 32 participating nations. TROJENA’s bid to host the games was unanimously approved, with the destination set to complete in 2026. The winter temperatures in TROJENA can dip below zero, with year-round temperatures averaging around 10 degrees cooler than other parts of Saudi Arabia.
NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s megaproject, is constructing Oxagon, a floating city in the Red Sea, near the Suez Canal, which will focus on revolutionising global manufacturing through a new logistics centre. Oxagon’s unique shape reflects its name, and it will feature factories, manufacturing facilities, logistics-related sites and be home to around 90,000 residents by 2030. The city will have state-of-the-art integrated port and airport connectivity, be one of the world’s most technologically advanced logistics hubs and will focus on seven sectors, including sustainable energy, autonomous mobility, and modern methods of construction. Oxagon is already home to confirmed tenants, including Air Products, ACWA Power, Gulf Modular International, Hyzon Motors, and Desert Technologies. The city will also feature an innovation campus and be built around the Kingdom’s net-zero goals, with most residential communities being waterfront, cooled using the ocean’s natural moderating effects and resilient to sea-level rise. The city’s completion is expected by 2030, with some features, including advanced logistics solutions facilities, expected to be completed by 2025.
NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s megaproject, is set to open Sindalah, a luxury island off the coast of the development, in 2024. The island is expected to create 3,500 jobs for the tourism sector and hospitality and leisure services. It will act as a main gateway to the Red Sea, offering visitors customised nautical experiences and will be home to a yacht club, three luxury resorts, a spa, over 50 luxury brands and 86 piers. The island aims to attract over 2,400 visitors per day by 2028. Sindalah will be NEOM’s first luxury island and yacht club destination in the Red Sea, providing a scenic gateway to the Red Sea that will become the region’s most exciting and attractive tourism location. The island is in the shape of a seahorse and will have a public realm approach that will be about enabling social interaction, inspirational views and amazing experiences, all supported by advanced technology.
Qiddiya, a project launched by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, is set to become a leading global destination. The project aims to diversify the country’s economy, create job opportunities, and empower the youth and female population. It is located on the outskirts of Riyadh and will offer experiences based on five cornerstones: Sports & Wellness, Nature & Environment, Parks & Attractions, Motion & Mobility, and Arts & Culture. Qiddiya’s Master Plan and Visitor Experience Center offer glimpses into the future of the project, which includes family-friendly theme parks, sports arenas, academies, entertainment venues, and racetracks. The project’s impact is already being felt locally and internationally, with its development being followed by media outlets worldwide. Qiddiya represents a bold new era for Saudi Arabia’s economy, society, and culture, and its completion is set to have an impact far beyond the Kingdom’s borders.