Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said it has delayed by three days the launch of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the oil-reliant kingdom seeks to diversify.
King Salman had been scheduled on Wednesday to launch construction of the 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, touted as the kingdom’s answer to Disneyland.
“King Salman will inaugurate next Saturday the Qiddiya project, which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the kingdom,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency said, without explaining the delay.
Construction for the first phase of development, which would include high-end theme parks, motorsport facilities, and a safari area, is expected to be completed in 2022, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns”, project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.