Top 5 developments shaping Saudi's tourism ambitions
Massive investment in mega tourism projects to the tune of $810 billion is expected to transform Saudi Arabia as one of the largest leisure tourism industries in the world over the next decade.
What are these projects?
The $500 billion Neom leads the list of the mega projects and once completed, will deliver a futuristic mega sustainable city. To be launched on the Red Sea from 2025, it is the largest and most ambitious smart city on the kingdom’s books and in the world. Backed by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and international investors, the futuristic fully-digitised city is slated to contribute $100 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2030.
The $10 billion Qiddiya will be spread across 334 sq km in Riyadh. In phase one alone, there are more than 45 projects, where visitors will have access to over 300 recreational and educational facilities including a Formula One-standard racing track, a 20,000-seat cliff-top stadium, an 18,000-seat indoor arena, an aquatic centre and a sports hub, as well as a 2,000-seat performing arts theatre and a cinema. The development will also be home to Six Flags Qiddiya, an extension of the American theme park and with six themed lands.
Located in the northern region with an area of 3,800 sq km, the project was launched in September 2018 and is on track to meet its 2028 completion date. It features a total of 2,525 hotel keys and 1,496 residential units and will target ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs).
4. The Red Sea Project
The Red Sea Project will welcome its first guests by the end of 2022. The first phase of the development will include 14 luxury hotels offering 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland locations. It will also include entertainment facilities, an airport, and the necessary supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure. Upon completion in 2030, the destination will deliver up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites.
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