A new sustainable tourism destination called Leyja has been launched within Saudi Arabia’s NEOM development.

Leyja extends from the Gulf of Aqaba coast in the west inland towards a natural valley carved between 400m high mountains.

NEOM said that 95 per cent of Leyja will be preserved for nature and will combine ecological design and construction techniques to ensure the development blends into the landscape.

Three hotels are confirmed to be built in Leyja. They will offer a combined total of 120 boutique rooms and suites, split equally with 40 keys at each of them.

The first property is tailor-made for adventure. NEOM says that the deconstructed design “ascends the walls of the wadi like a staircase…folded into the cliff top and valley sides” that will facilitate activities such as rock climbing experiences in the surrounding area.

The second property sits at the heart of the wadi’s largest oasis and has a distinctive architectural feature of a staircase ascending from the canyon to the entrance of the property.

The third hotel is an immersive wellness retreat that promotes longevity with a high-tech, reflective façade mirroring the surrounding natural landscape.

Leyja’s three hotels will offer a selection of activities such as guided wadi walks, mountain biking and hiking trails, options for fine dining, wellness facilities and rooftop infinity-style pools across the three properties.

Apart from Leyja, the other destination projects already announced for NEOM include include Sindalah, its luxury island; THE LINE, a linear city; Trojena, its year-round mountain destination and the first outdoor ski experience in the GCC region; and Oxagon, an industrial floating city that will feature advanced and clean industries within NEOM.

Saudi Arabia reveals details of The Line project in Neom

NEOM’s different projects are all in varying stages of construction. Sindalah, for example, is spread over 840,000 sqm and will open to the public in 2024. It will feature an 86-berth marina, and 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms overall including 88 villas and a further 333 serviced apartments.

Trojena meanwhile is set to welcome its first guests in late 2026, and it will also host the Asian Winter Games in 2029. It can be accessed via NEOM International airport and will subsequently be linked to NEOM’s high-speed rail network. As is the case within the rest of NEOM, Trojena will be powered by renewable energy.

Several hospitality brands have announced upcoming openings at Oxagon whose neighbourhoods will be fully walkable, with sustainable on-demand mass transit and micro mobility solutions too.