Saudi Arabia’s Haramain high-speed railway will resume services in September, according to Saudi media reports.

Opening dates for reservations will be announced soon, with tickets for the popular service, which links the holy cities of Mecca and Madinah, made available online on the railway’s website.

The 450km rail line, which was inaugurated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz in September 2018 and launched operations the following month, connects travellers to Mecca, Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and Madinah.

Travelling of speeds of up to 300kph, it is the largest and fastest rail line in the Middle East.

The move to open up more travel options builds on the momentum of The Saudi Tourism Authority’s (STA’s) Saudi Summer campaign, which encourages residents to explore the Kingdom in lieu of an overseas holiday and following the lifting of COVID-19-related lockdown restrictions.

Running until September 20, the campaign promotes 10 destinations: Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu and Umluj; and Riyadh.

Together, these locations offer fertile valleys, quiet beaches, dense forests, cool climates, mountain peaks, buzzing cities, historic villages and more.

Saudi nationals and residents are being encouraged to visit multiple destinations to take advantage of the different packages and activities available, from sea trips and diving, to museum visits and hiking.

The Saudi Summer campaign was launched after STA research found 57 per cent of Saudi residents were concerned about air travel, but 85 per cent were still planning a break of around 10 days this year. In addition, 78 per cent said they were curious to explore what Saudi Arabia had to offer.

“Saudi Summer comes as a wonderful opportunity to discover multiple tourist destinations in KSA, alongside its historical, natural and cultural treasures. The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis,” said His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the STA.