Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saudi Arabia set to build world-class entertainment city

Saudi Arabia is set to build one of the world's mega cultural, sports and entertainment cities in Al Qiddiya, southwest of capital Riyadh which will boast modern recreational facilities including a safari and a Six Flags-theme park.

Work on the multibillion riyal project will start next year and its first phase will be opened to the public in 2022. The state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is the main investor, recently unveiled the park's logo, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The innovative logo reflects the geographical nature of Al Qiddiya, a beautiful place 40 km southwest of the capital city. Inspired by the Tuwaiq mountains, the perpendicular lines in the logo reflect the potential of young Saudi men and women.

"It epitomizes the project's goal of developing an outstanding entertainment center for Saudis," said a senior official, who requested anonymity. It also aims to make Riyadh one of the best 100 cities in the world for living.

The project's identity shows the region's heritage and reflects the beauty and splendor of the place. Al-Qiddiya is designed to become an important landmark, meeting cultural, sports and entertainment requirements of future generations.

It is also considered a qualitative investment initiative. "The project will bring together a number of entertainment facilities that would support the Kingdom's Vision 2030," the official said.

Al Qiddiya will have six major components: The fun city, sports facilities, car and cycle race courses, water adventures and ice games, natural attractions and cultural and heritage events. The project includes resorts, hotels and residential units on about 100 miles of sandy coastline on the Red Sea.

US-based Six Flags announced in June that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks as part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 efforts to expand its entertainment sector and diversify the economy.

The Vision 2030 reform program, which was unveiled by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, contains plans to shed the Kingdom's austere reputation, wean the economy off oil and create jobs for young Saudis.

The government wants people to have more fun at home and take fewer vacations abroad. Its sovereign wealth fund PIF will create a company to invest in the sector and forge deals with strategic partners, reported The Saudi Gazette.

The company's investments will include an entertainment complex to be launched by 2019, it added.

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