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Around the world in 24 races: Saudi Arabia

Together with our Global Luxury Luggage Partner, Globe-Trotter, we explore Saudi Arabia in our latest travel guide ahead of the Grand Prix on the streets of Jeddah.

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Formula One burst back into life last weekend but there's not time to pause for breath.

The paddock has travelled over the border from Bahrain into Saudi Arabia, as it descends on the ultra-fast, Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

One of the fastest circuits on the Formula One calendar, drivers go wheel-to-wheel at speeds of more than 330km/h on the streets of this captivating Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea coast.

A test of both driver and machine, with the slightest of mistakes punished by a trip to the wall, in its short time on the calendar the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has become a spectacular event that sparkles at night.

Why are we excited about Saudi Arabia for 2024?

The dynamic desert destination – Saudi Arabia is changing at a rapid pace. From Neom to Alula, the Noor Riyadh Light Festival, and the coming Thomas Heatherwick-designed Jeddah Central Art Museum – transforming an old desalination plant on the waterside.

Art and architecture are front and centre in the country's shift. Jeddah’s famous al fresco sculptures have been an attraction since the 1980s – Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Jean Arp and the famous Crazy Speed crashed car sculpture by Julio Lafuente which should appeal to F1's devotees. The Jeddah Art Promenade along the Corniche is bringing art out of the gallery and into the city. The Hay Jameel centre also includes art, a cinema and community theatre. 

How to find joy in the journey?

Travel on an ultra-modern train line – What could be more exciting after watching the speeding AMR24 F1 car, piloted by the Aston Martin Aramco drivers Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso than zipping across the Saudi desert at 200 mph on one of the world's most advanced trains?

The Haramain Line has revolutionised Saudi transport, linking Jeddah to Medina and the Holy City of Mecca since 2018. If the duck-nosed trains look familiar to seasoned travellers that's because they’re based on Renfe's AVEs which dart from Madrid to Seville and Barcelona.

The architecture of the Haramain Line stations is showstopping, with ultra-modern terminals designed by Foster + Partners and melding Arabian motifs with high tech sensibilities. It's the perfect way to venture out after the race and explore this fast-evolving country. 

Aston Martin F1

What's fresh and exciting?

Lebanese flavours at Niyyali – Jeddah is soon welcoming all sorts of new openings including a Voco Hotel and Regent Hotel coming to the seafront.

Niyyali is one of the hottest tables to book in town since its 2023 opening. Meaning 'How lucky am I?' this fashionable bar and restaurant serves an eclectic selection of Lebanese themed dishes. Who could resist the truffle hummus or hummus topped with minced lamb? Been to Beirut? We bet you have ordered the glorious cloud-like kibbeh that defines the city's gastronomy.

Where next?

Explore the wonders of The Red Sea - Saudi’s answer to the Maldives

One of Saudi Arabia's latest tourism wonders must be seen to be believed. The Red Sea Project (now often referred to as The Red Sea). An hour's flight northwest of Jeddah takes you to The Red Sea Airport on a flight that has only been running for a couple of months. From here you travel to a chain of paradise islands reminiscent of the Indian Ocean.

Numerous luxury resorts are scheduled to open as part of a USD 30 billion scheme. The St Regis Red Sea has just opened its doors. The whole island chain comprises 200km of coastline spread over almost 100 picturesque islands. Relaxing on sandy beaches and diving in the azure ocean are the orders of the day. Be the first to experience what is to become the Gulf's foremost high-end experience.

Our partnership with Globe-Trotter celebrates a shared commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and heritage, bringing together the timeless style of Globe-Trotter's handcrafted luggage and the cutting-edge design and performance of the Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team.

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