March 12, 2024

Saudi Tourism showcases its rich offer of destinations to ITB Berlin visitors

With its impressive pavilion at ITB Berlin 2024, the tourist board presented Saudi’s transformation into a dynamic year-round tourism destination with a great diversity of regions and activities. 

With a packed activity and event program, the Winter Season, with more than 17,000 planned events, is the perfect opportunity for European travellers to escape winter. At ITB Berlin, visitors were invited to discover a country made up of stunning landscapes and extraordinary human and natural heritage, including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

The Red Sea 
Resorts on the Red Sea are a luxury tourism destination with beaches, canyons, mountains and mangroves. The Red Sea is also home to the fourth largest coral reef system in the world. 
The Red Sea destination opened its first resort in 2023. It will open a further 16 resorts in its first phase over 2024/2025, and 50 resorts by 2030. The project has surpassed significant milestones, with over 700 contracts signed to date worth over SAR 20bn (ca. EUR 4.9bn).
At last year’s ITB Berlin, it was announced that Six Senses Southern Dunes and St. Regis – two new Red Sea resorts – would open in Q1 2024. However, they have already opened ahead of schedule. 
The two giga-projects are projected to contribute SAR 33bn (ca. EUR 8bn) annually to Saudi’s economy. 

AlUla is an open-air museum and place of extraordinary human and natural heritage that encompasses the ancient oasis of AlUla as well as the region’s historical sites of Hegra, Maraya and Dadan. 
Hegra is Saudi’s very first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Populated since before the first millennium BCE, Hegra is renowned for its more than 110 well-preserved burial tombs carved from desert rock in which the Nabataean elite was laid to rest. 
Within a short drive, visitors can find two other hotbeds of ancient culture, Khaybar and Tayma. The first one, a volcanic desert ecosystem, sits to the south east, while the archaeological marvel of Tayma lies north. 
AlUla will host luxury resort by Mexico’s AZULIK which will have 76 villas and is expected to open in 2027. 
In the coming years, the region will also welcome Sharaan Resort & International and a Summit Centre – a global architectural landmark designed by Jean Nouvel. 
AlUla is also set to open Wadi AlFann, Valley of the arts in 2024. 

This 300-year-old site, located just 15 minutes from Riyadh, is the birthplace and capital of the First Saudi State. 
Diriyah is centred around At-Turaif, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and important cultural location in Saudi. A SAR 190bn (ca. EUR 46.6bn) plan will transform Diriyah into an exciting cultural tourist destination by 2030. 
Bujairi Terrace with more than 21 restaurant and a panoramic view over the At Turaif site is becoming a destination in itself. 

Located 50 kilometers from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, with elevations that range from 1,500 metres to 2,600 metres, Trojena is ideal for mountain tourism, and travellers can capitalise on the different climates throughout the year. It is expected to open in 2026. 

A stunning natural valley carved into towering mountains, home to three luxurious boutique hotels that encompass concepts of adventure, oasis and wellness. 

The bustling capital has a packed world-class events program, hosting anticipated events such as MDL Beast, the largest music and cultural festival in the Middle East. 
Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion of the world has held boxing matches in Riyadh and Riyadh hosted the 2023 World Combat Games, with further events planned including Tyson Fury’s bout with Oleksandr Usyk. 
2023 edition of Riyadh Season had 5 million visitors in less than a month of its launch. 

Jeddah has historically been home to worldwide arts and music, and a gathering spot for a variety of vibrant cultures, a unique blend that has left its mark on the Jeddah of today. Jeddah is Saudi’s buzzing cosmopolitan coastal hub, home to gleaming hotels and big-ticket events like the Red Sea International Film Festival, which takes place in late winter. 
The city’s heart is still intact in Al Balad, the magical historical quarter and another UNESCO World Heritage Site that has undergone a renaissance in recent years. In Al Balad, ancient coral stone houses are being restored, and new heritage-focused galleries, woodwork workshops and cafes are springing up in once-derelict buildings.