Saudi Arabia unveils plans for ‘entertainment city’ near Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to build an entertainment city in Riyadh as big as Las Vegas.

The city would be built on 129 square miles and will offer entertainment, sporting and cultural activities apart from hosting a safari and Six Flags theme park.

The kingdom’s Public Investment Fund will be the main investor in the project, for which work will commence in 2018. The first stage will be finished by 2022, according to a statement by Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, deputy crown prince, carried by state news agency SPA.
Other local and international investors will also provide capital, the statement said, without elaborating on the size of the investment.

“This city will become, by God’s will, a prominent cultural landmark and an important centre for meeting the future generation’s recreational, cultural and social needs in the kingdom,” deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud said.

The entertainment city is viewed as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform programme which will reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil.

US-based Six Flags announced in June last year that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks. “The company aims to build three parks in Saudi Arabia, with each costing between $300 million and $500 million,” said Six Flags chief executive Jim Reid Anderson.


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