Saudi Arabia’s King and Crown Prince have officially broken ground on a 334 square-kilometre entertainment resort near Riyadh which is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors a year after it opens in 2022, it was announced on Saturday.
Billed the kingdom's answer to Disneyland, the Qiddiya development will include a Six Flags theme park, water parks, motor sports facilities and a safari area, as well as vacation homes.
By 2030, officials hope that site – located about an hour’s drive southwest of the Saudi capital of Riyadh – will attract 17 million people.
Saudi media reports that the total value of the project’s infrastructure may reach as high as $8 billion, with the total worth of the project expected to be considerably higher.
“We invite investors, creators and operators from around the world to explore what a one-of-a-kind project like Qiddiya has to offer,” CEO Michael Reininger told media on Saturday.
“We will seek the best to help us as we invent a new entertainment experience for all residents and visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
In an interview with Reuters, Reininger said that Qiddiya is seeking financing from a number of local and international sources to supplement the majority contribution from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The Qiddiya development is one of a number of initiatives launched by the Saudi government to boost the kingdom’s entertainment options, which have included the lifting of a decades-long ban on cinemas and plans to stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, as well as inject $64 million into the sector.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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