Officials at the signing ceremony.

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has signed a tram design agreement with Systra, one of the world's leading engineering and consulting groups specialised in public transport and mobility solutions, to push ahead with the AlUla tram project, which will connect the governorate to a number of stations, tracks, routes, landmarks and historical heritage sites.

The 50-km tramway, which will run from AlUla International Airport in the south to Hegra city in the north, is a key project in AlUla’s The Journey Through Time masterplan and a main pillar of the city’s development programme, which aims to turn AlUla into a global destination for travellers offering heritage, nature, art and culture, in line with Vision 2030.

Through the tram project, the RCU aims to enhance the sustainability of mobility, and reduce traffic and noise.

“AlUla has proven that it is at the centre of everyone’s attention, and planning in AlUla affects financial, environmental, and energy sustainability as well,” said Amr Al Madani, the CEO of Royal Commission for AlUla. “Thus, the tram will be part of the solution, not only because it will rely on electric power but also because it will reduce the need to use vehicles that are used to reach sites in the desert, which do not provide a pleasant transportation experience and are environmentally harmful.”

According to RCU, the design of the project’s initial phase is expected to be complete in 2023. The tram will serve several routes and feature designs inspired by the natural and historical heritage of AlUla.