Explore Saudi’s Mega and Giga Projects that are Changing the Kingdom’s Tourism Landscape

Explore Saudi’s Mega and Giga Projects that are Changing the Kingdom’s Tourism Landscape

By Staff Writer, 05 April 2023
Bujairi Terrace, Diriyah

There are several mega- and giga-projects that have been announced since 2017 and currently underway in Saudi Arabia. Mega-projects are large-scale, complex undertakings that typically cost a billion dollars or more, while giga-projects have budgets that exceed $10 billion. 

Tourism destinations have been coming online at various phases of completion. AlUla, Diriyah and parts of Asir Region are already welcoming visitors today while continuing development of future phases of development. There are several luxury resort destinations that are expected to welcome its first guests in 2023 and 2024. Other projects will ask us to wait a little longer until they are open to the public. 



The LINE, one of sub-projects under NEOM, the $500 billion USD Saudi's giga project.

Investment Estimate: $500 billion USD

Job Creation: >380,000 New Jobs Expected

Announced: 2017

Expected Completion: 2030

NEOM is a brand new “city of the future” that is being developed from scratch and is expected to host a population of 1 million and attract 5 million tourists by 2030. It is meant to become a hub for innovation and sustainable living and working, and is designed to be car-free and completely powered by clean energy. Sub-projects within NEOM include THE LINE, OXAGON, SINDALAH, and TROJENA.



At-Turaif: the historic district located in Al-Dir'iyah north-west of Riyadh

Investment Estimate: $63.2 billion USD

Job Creation: 55,000 New Jobs

Announced: 2017 

Expected Completion: 2027 

Diriyah is a luxurious cultural destination, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Turaif, a 300-year old mud-brick city of great political and historical importance. Diriyah, dubbed the ‘City of Earth’, sits 15 minutes northwest of Riyadh, is the birthplace of the Saudi Kingdom, home to multiple homes and palaces of the Al-Saud ruling family. Today, Diriyah is being restored as the Kingdom’s cultural capital, showcasing Saudi Arabia’s history through hospitality, education, retail and dining experiences. Diriyah is also home to a number of museums, cultural academies and academic institutions, a 15,000 seat arena and a Formula E Race track. Diriyah is also one of the first Giga Projects to open its doors to the public, having started to welcome visitors in 2022.

Read More: Diriyah: The Cultural Capital of Saudi Arabia



Sheybarah Island, one of Red Sea Project's most ambitious islands

Investment Estimate: ±$20 billion USD

Job Creation: >70,000 New Jobs

Announced: 2017 

Expected Completion: 2030 

The Red Sea Project is a tourism and hospitality project which sits over 28,000 square kilometers, established on the Saudi Arabian Sea coast, including 90 natural pristine islands. The project is the first fully integrated, luxury, mixed-use resort in the Middle East; it also has major ambitions to become a sustainable tourism hotspot. The first phase of development will welcome its first visitors toward the back end of 2023. 8,000 new hotel rooms are expected to be available at completion in 2030. 

Read More: The Red Sea Project: A Luxury Resort Destination



Maraya mirror, the World’s Largest Mirrored Building located in ALULA, Saudi Arabia

Investment Estimate: $15 billion USD

Job Creation: 38,000 New Jobs

Announced: 2017 

Expected Completion: 2035 

Al’Ula is an open-air museum that contains preserved tombs and historical monuments. It encompasses Saudi’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nabatean city of Hegra. It is a natural world wonder that can be compared to the likes of Petra in Jordan. Al’Ula has been formally welcoming tourists since 2019.

Read More: Al’Ula: A UNESCO World Heritage Site



Aseer Region, located southwest of the Saudi Arabia

Investment Estimate: >$13.3 billion USD

Announced: 2021 

Expected Completion: 2030

Asir Region is a luxury mountain destination that is 3,015 meters above sea level and is the highest peak in Saudi Arabia. The climate in the region is cool all year round, and the region is dubbed the “Arabian Highlands”. The project aims to attract more than 10 million visitors by 2030.



Qiddiya Project, the capital of entertainment in Saudi Arabia with the world's record-breaking theme park

Investment Estimate: $8 billion USD

Job Creation: 17,000 New Jobs

Announced: 2017 

Expected Completion: 2030

Qiddiya is a sports and entertainment city which will include art centers, venues for music festivals, a sports stadium, and a championship golf course. It will also become home to the permanent F1 Saudi Grand Prix Race track. To add to the excitement, a new Six Flags theme park that is three times the size of the largest Disney World will be open in Qiddiya and will serve the world’s longest and tallest roller coaster. Qiddiya is slated to open its doors to the public in phases, starting in 2023.

Read More: Qiddiya: The Capital of Sports, Entertainment & Art



New Jeddah Corniche in Saudi Arabia

Investment Estimate: $4.8 billion USD

Announced: 2017 

Expected Completion: 2021

The Jeddah Corniche was redeveloped to offer mixed-use office, retail, and residential space. This was also the site selected for the temporary Saudi F1 Grand Prix street circuit build.



King Salman Park

Investment Estimate: ±$1 billion USD

Announced: 2019 

Expected Completion: 2027

King Salman Park is the largest urban park in the world. This public park covers over 16 square kilometers and hosts facilities like the royal art complex, an opera house and museums, visitor pavilions, and will offer a wide range of recreational, F&B, arts, cultural, entertainment and sports activities.



Amaala, now part of Red Sea Global Project

Investment Estimate: $959 million USD

Job Creation: ±22,000 New Jobs

Announced: 2018 

Expected Completion: 2028 

AMAALA is a sub-project within The Red Sea Project. AMAALA is a luxurious tourism destination covering 4,155 square kilometers located along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern Red Sea coastline. Dubbed the ‘Riviera of the Middle East’, the development will consist of 25 hotels and 1800 hotel rooms, 900 private villas, and 200 high-end retail and fine-dining establishments. The city will also be powered by renewable energy. The first phase of this project is expected to complete and be open to the public sometime in 2024.


Learn more about the mega- and giga-projects shaping the future of leisure tourism in Saudi Arabia, in our report Diriyah and the Giga Projects: Defining the New Saudi Arabia


Related Report

Diriyah and the Giga Projects Defining the New Saudi Arabia

Diriyah and the Giga Projects: Defining the New Saudi Arabia

A look at Diriyah, Saudi Arabia’s cultural capital and one of the Kingdom’s first tourism offerings to be opened to the public, alongside the other Giga-projects valued at over US $1 trillion that are shaping the Kingdom’s future to 2030 and beyond.

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