The Dawn of Desert Cruising The Rise of Cruise Tourism in Saudi Arabia

The Dawn of Desert Cruising: The Rise of Cruise Tourism in Saudi Arabia

As the sun rises over the Arabian Desert, a new dawn is breaking for the cruise industry in Saudi Arabia. This vast and diverse kingdom, known for its rich history and cultural heritage, is emerging as a new player in the global cruise market. With its stunning coastline, untouched islands, and bustling modern cities, Saudi Arabia offers a unique blend of experiences that are capturing the attention of cruisers worldwide.

The Emergence of Saudi Arabia in the Cruise Industry

Saudi Arabia’s entry into the cruise industry is a testament to the country’s ambitious vision for the future. Under the banner of Vision 2030, the kingdom is undertaking a series of initiatives to diversify its economy and promote tourism. The cruise industry, with its potential to attract international visitors and generate economic activity, is a key part of this vision.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in boosting its cruise tourism. From developing state-of-the-art port facilities to forging partnerships with leading cruise lines, the kingdom is laying the groundwork for a thriving cruise industry. For more information on Saudi Arabia’s tourism initiatives, visit our About Us page.

New Cruise Lines and Routes in Saudi Arabia

One of the most exciting developments in Saudi Arabia’s cruise industry is the introduction of new cruise lines and routes. Leading the charge is MSC Cruises, a global leader in the cruise industry. In 2023, MSC Cruises announced its winter sailings in the Red Sea, marking a significant milestone in Saudi Arabia’s cruise tourism. These new itineraries offer cruisers a chance to explore Saudi Arabia’s stunning Red Sea coastline, visit historic sites, and immerse themselves in the kingdom’s rich culture. From the ancient tombs of Al Khuraybah to the modern cityscape of Jeddah, these cruises offer a diverse range of experiences that cater to all types of travelers. You can read more about MSC Cruises’ deployment in Saudi Arabiahere.

In addition to MSC Cruises, Saudi Arabia has also launched its own cruise line, Saudi Cruise, as part of its efforts to boost tourism. While details about Saudi Cruise are still emerging, it represents a significant step forward for the kingdom’s cruise industry.

The Unique Appeal of Saudi Arabia for Cruisers

Saudi Arabia is a land of contrasts, where ancient traditions meet modern innovation, and untouched landscapes coexist with bustling cities. This unique blend of experiences makes it an exciting destination for cruisers. For history enthusiasts, Saudi Arabia offers a wealth of archaeological sites and historic landmarks. From the ancient Nabatean city of Al Khuraybah to the historic Diriyah area in Riyadh, cruisers can step back in time and explore the kingdom’s rich heritage.

Nature lovers will be captivated by Saudi Arabia’s diverse landscapes. The Red Sea coastline, with its pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs, is a paradise for snorkeling and diving. Meanwhile, the vast Arabian Desert offers a unique adventure with its towering sand dunes and starlit nights.

For those seeking luxury and modern comforts, Saudi Arabia’s cities offer world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The cosmopolitan city of Jeddah, with its stunning waterfront and modern architecture, is a highlight of many cruise itineraries.

The Impact of Cruise Tourism on Saudi Arabia’s Economy

The growth of the cruise industry in Saudi Arabia is having a significant impact on the kingdom’s economy. Cruise tourism generates economic activity, creates jobs, and attracts foreign investment, contributing to Saudi Arabia’s broader economic diversification goals.

According to the Saudi Tourism Authority, the cruise industry is expected to contribute SAR 1.9 billion ($500 million) to the kingdom’s GDP by 2035 and create over 50,000 jobs. This economic impact extends beyond the cruise industry, benefiting sectors such as hospitality, retail, and transportation.

Challenges and Opportunities for the Cruise Industry in Saudi Arabia

Like any emerging market, the cruise industry in Saudi Arabia faces its share of challenges. These include developing the necessary infrastructure, ensuring environmental sustainability, and meeting the diverse needs of international cruisers.

However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and growth. Saudi Arabia is investing in state-of-the-art port facilities, implementing sustainable tourism practices, and working closely with cruise lines to offer high-quality experiences for cruisers.

As Saudi Arabia continues to navigate these challenges, the kingdom’s cruise industry is poised for a bright future. With its unique attractions, strategic investments, and ambitious vision, Saudi Arabia is set to become a leading destination in the global cruise market.


The cruise industry in Saudi Arabia is at the dawn of an exciting new era. As the kingdom opens its doors to international visitors, it is offering a unique blend of experiences that set it apart in the global cruise market. From its rich cultural heritage to its stunning natural landscapes, Saudi Arabia offers a cruise destination like no other.

At the heart of this transformation is a vision – a vision of a diversified economy, a thriving tourism sector, and a vibrant cruise industry. As Saudi Arabia navigates the challenges and opportunities of this vision, the kingdom is demonstrating its potential to become a leading player in the global cruise industry.

For those seeking a unique cruise experience, Saudi Arabia offers a journey of discovery. Whether you’re exploring ancient archaeological sites, diving in vibrant coral reefs, or experiencing the modern luxuries of Saudi Arabia’s cities, a cruise in the kingdom is a journey you won’t forget.

For more insights into the exciting developments in Saudi Arabia’s cruise industry, stay tuned to our Blog. As we navigate the high seas of the cruise industry, we look forward to sharing our journey with you.

Remember, every journey begins with a single sail. Let’s set sail together.

Share this :

Absolutely No Agency Fees or Payments for Placement!

In compliance with the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC 2006), we never charge candidates any fees or payments for placement. If anyone requests such fees from you, it’s not from us. Please report such incidents to us immediately via our Contact Page.