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  • Writer's pictureemanuelegallone

Roaming around NEOM Saudi Arabia on adventure motorbike

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Stories and photos of roaming around alone NEOM, the northern part of Saudi Arabia.

Airplane wreck found on the coast of Neom

NEOM is name that Mohammed Bin Salman (Saudi Crown Prince) gave to this region. It means New Future and it's a region he designated to create a totally new way of conceiving civilization.

NEOM is situated in the Tabuk province, northwest of Saudi Arabia and it's a region of the size of Belgium.

Over the last weeks, I had the opportunity to explore the region with my KTM 890, over 2500km of road and off roads.

The 2500km of roads that crossed so far: In blue the dirt roads and deserts and pink the tarmac

For Part 2 of this story, you can check this other article: 5000km of off-road motorbiking in NEOM

Riding in this area is an absolute privilege as not many have put their motorcycle wheels on these grounds. Saudis' population is not used to motorcycles, and for sure not in this region and these bikes!

By talking and exchanging with some locals, I had the feeling that often I was probably the first person to pass through ever with a bike! When they see me riding alone in this area, is a sort of a mirage for them and I got invited so many times to eat, drink and stay with the Bedouins and tribes here which are absolutely fantastic.

Let me start your reading journey with the seaside of this region as it's probably the most unknown abroad. Many only think Saudi is desertic but here we're in the red sea region, and the shore is absolutely stunning!

Here there is a coral reef which very similar to Sharm El Shaik in Egypt or eventually even nicer as it's unspoiled!

This place above is called Gayal, Sharma. It's a fisherman harbor in the central part of Neom, on the coastal area south of the Neom communities.

This below instead is the far west coast, which is leading up towards Aqaba, Jordan

Needless to say that there are deserts and the area here is mostly deserted. One can find oasis with plantations and farms here and there but mostly we are surrounded by the absolute nothingness!

It is with a certain adrenaline that I cross these lands alone on my motorcycles, as sometimes the feeling I have is that nobody passed on some of these places for at least weeks if not months... Amazing, stunning places with impressive views, lush of colors and rock formations of all sorts but certainly not very inhabitable!

What is most impressive of this region is the beautiful mountains and the diversity in rock types that are here. In few kilometers you can pass from limestone to sandstone to granit, in all sort of rock colors!

The highest mountain here is Jebel al Lawz, named by MBS as Trojena which reaches 2580m, which is where NEOM is going to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games...

Some of which are just really weird like these

One of the highlights of this region for sure is the red desert of Hizma. Which is very similar to Jordan's Wadi Rum. Endless lands of red sand at an altitude of 1000m over the sea level, dotted with sandstone rock crops.

I have crossed this desert almost in its integrity from south to north and it's one of those unique places around the world that you cannot ever forget!

Another incredible place is Wadi Dissah, with very similar rocks as the Hizma deserts but with a very productive water spring that gives life to the entire canyon transforming a desert in a lush of life!

The road arriving in Wadi Dissah is a journey on his own. One can do a normal tarmac coastal road but if you have a dirt/adv bike you can just cross through valleys and desert and reach in a much more epic way!

One of the last areas I have explored is the magmatic lands, where there are extinguished Volcanos and impressive lands of black basaltic rocks!

But there is still so much to explore in this beautiful region. Stay tuned, this is just the first chapter of this exploration journey!

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