The state’s Public investment Fund (PIF) was tasked with investing in companies and developing a series of “Giga projects,” aimed to stimulate growth within non-oil sectors and expand entertainment and tourism offerings for both Saudi nationals and foreign visitors. And with this, the Kingdom aims to invest $64 billion in entertainment and amusement over the next 10 years.
In November 2019, the Saudi government established a fund that focuses on supporting entertainment, sports and tourism projects. Headed by Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman, this fund linked to the National Development Fund (NDF) will be financed from the revenues of the ‘Saudi Seasons Program.’ With the ongoing development of necessary infrastructure, these and other government initiatives are expected to continue being fundamental in rapidly transforming the country’s entertainment landscape.
Key entertainment projects and initiatives
Qiddiya Entertainment City - Kingdom’s capital of entertainment
Covering 334 sqkm and located 40km from Riyadh, Qiddiya will be about three times larger than ‘Disney World Florida,’ making it world’s largest entertainment center. One-third is designated for development, leaving the rest for natural conservation. Qiddiya is a mixed-use entertainment-led development which will offer various customised experiences under 5 themes:
- Sports & Wellness
- Parks & Attractions
- Motion & Mobility
- Art & Culture
- Nature & Environment
The Red Sea Project - Unforgettable luxury within an extraordinary destination
With 200 km of coastline, The Red Sea Project aims to leverage on some of the Kingdom’s most unique natural treasures. Situated on a 90-island archipelago on the coast of the Red Sea between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh, the project is roughly the size of Belgium and stretches across 28,000 sqkm. Offering various inland and off-land hospitality options, coupled with leisure and recreational facilities, the project aims to become one of the world’s best dive sites. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in 2022 and is planned to include 3,000 luxury and ultraluxury resort keys, an airport, yacht marinas and other leisure facilities.
AMAALA - The Riviera of the Middle East
Derived from the Arabic word for ‘Hope,’ Amaala will feature three masterplans – Triple Bay, The Island, and The Coastal Development – respectively centred on the themes of wellness & sports, luxury art residences and sea, sun & lifestyle. Around 800 km north of Jeddah and stretching 12 km along the northwestern coastline of KSA,
Amaala aims to become an ultraluxury resort and wellness destination, ensuring sustainability and preserving the unique natural surroundings.
Al Ula - Kingdom's hidden natural wonder
With 23,000 archaeological sites, Al Ula is expected to offer various recreational activities including sightseeing, hiking, camping and other desert-friendly sports and festivals.
Located 300 km north of Madinah Al Munawara, Al Ula is envisaged to be Kingdom’s main cultural eco-tourism destination, leveraging on key historical and cultural assets, such as Mada’in Saleh, the second largest Nabatean heritage site after Jordan’s Petra and Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO site.
King Salman Park - The “Green Heart of Riyadh”
With a total area of 13 million sqm, King Salman Park aims to be world’s biggest city park and is about four times the size of Central Park in New York. The park is expected to offer various components related to the environment, culture, art and sports. To ensure connectivity and accessibility, the park will be linked to 6 main roads and highways, connected to 5 metro ‘Green Line’ stations and 10 rapid transit stations.
Riyadh Sports Boulevard - One-stop wellbeing destination
Featuring 120,000 new trees, Sports Boulevard is expected to offer various sports and reactional facilities across 8 multi-themed zones. The project aims to improve quality of life and support the objective of placing Riyadh within the world’s top 100 livable cities. It has 1 million sqm of land allocated for private investment opportunities among both domestic and foreign investors, allowing them to introduce complementary developments, such as museums, libraries and art studios.
To read further information on the KSA Entertainment sector, click here to read the full report.