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  • Writer's pictureemanuelegallone

5000km of off-road motorbiking in NEOM, Saudi

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

Another selection of places and landscapes of the NEOM region. Never stop exploring...

View from the top of a dune in Hizma desert

Here is part 2 of my excursions in the NEOM region. 5000km on the clock (mostly offroad and riding alone) in this incredible country.

The first highlight of this second part, is a spectacular place right in the middle of NEOM.

It's a starfish shaped dune. Surrounded by lower rocky hills.

One of a kind. Very peculiar on how a such a dune has formed in this area, surrounded by rocks, standing out, and dominating the heights.

This dune is higher than everything else and offers unique sunsets and sunrises, with the backdrop of the Tabuk mountains and Sharma valley. If you reach the top of it you have a sight even of the sea in far distance.

Leaving this bliss behind and heading east, you will end up into a red rocky desert, with lush red hills. A series of wide canyons and valleys, with the colors of trees, skies and mountains forming a piece of art!

Reaching the coast from there, you'll pass by Wadi Trem, which is a long desert wadi, full of natural un-harvested palms. It is not rare to find traces of rain water here, hence the greenery that can be found here.

Continuing towards the coast, you'll end up into a volcanic landscape, with black rocks overlooking the Redsea gulf. Stunning extinguished cone shape volcanos that offer beautiful views of the sea.

This type of volcanic landscape can be found also east of NEOM, in the south of Tabuk. What I call the lava fields of the east. A huge unforgiving area, totally dak gray if seen from the satellite, dotted of hundreds of cone-shaped extinguished volcanos.

Riding around these you can just loose the count of how many you will see.

Volcanos are actually everywhere in Saudi, and if one watches well, will see them in almost every part of the region. Which in fact is very volcanic in nature, making this land even more daunting.

Another extinguished volcano on the west coast of NEOM, gulf of Aqaba.

Staying north of NEOM, on the coast of Aqaba, between Al Bad and Magna, there is a almost forgotten land for most people. A beautiful maze of canyons, valleys often with sea view. A mix of desert and rocky terrains to keep your eyes always wondering around.

Another dramatic landscape is the Al Shiq canyon, just after Shigry village. A huge crack that suddenly appears at the end of the Tabuk plateau, which abruptly makes you realize that you're at 1200m altitude. Where probably the bottom of this canyon is at least 800m lower! Driving around this canyon is a unique experience, giving you the feeling of vastness of this land.

Last but not least: Al Ula.

Not precisely in the NEOM region, but even not too far from it, and almost belonging to the same geological area. The rocks here are similar in nature of the Hizma NEOM desert but have some of the most incredible structures and landscapes.

Understandingly, this has been chosen by many ancient populations as a place to settle, build temples, tombs, villages and engrave their stories

And this is just the beginning of the natural sights that can be seen and explored in this region. I have many more plans. Tens of things to see and discover are on my to-do map.

So stay tuned and see you guys on the trails!

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