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Saudi turns offshore oil platform into tourist attraction

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund on Saturday launched “THE RIG.”, first-of-its-kind tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms.

Located in the Arabian Gulf, the project will span a combined area of more than 150,000 square meters, said a statement issued by the sovereign wealth fund.

“THE RIG.” will feature a number of touristic attractions, including three hotels, world-class restaurants, helipads, and a range of adventurous activities, including extreme sports, the PIF said.

The PIF said to ensure sustainable preservation of the environment, the project will follow global standards and best practices in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure preservation of environment.

The project is in line with PIF’s strategy 2021-2025 to modernize Saudi Arabia’s tourism and entertainment sectors and introduce innovative ideas to boost the number of local, regional and international tourists in the Kingdom.

Entertainment is expected to be a key driver for Saudi economic growth over the next four years.

In addition to the new entertainment centers announced by the PIF, a number of other high-profile projects are underway, including the Qiddiya Entertainment City, The Red Sea Project, AMAALA, AlUla, King Salman Park and Riyadh Sport Boulevard.

The retail and hospitality sectors are expected to benefit from the entertainment boom with total retail space in the capital expected to reach 3.5 million square meters of gross leasable area by 2024. By 2024, Jeddah’s retail market is expected to witness considerable supply growth, reaching over 2 million square meters.

As of 2019, the Kingdom received about 59 million tourist trips and these figures are expected to continue to increase to 100 million tourist trips by 2024.

The Saudi entertainment and amusement sector is forecast to be worth $1.17 billion by 2030 and grow by a massive 47.65 percent per year, according to recent industry report.

The US-based Research and Markets study said that the growth compares with just $23.77 million in 2020.

Source: Arab News

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