Saudi delays launch of ‘entertainment city’

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MNA Entertainment Desk: 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 kilometre 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, motor sport facilities and a safari area, is expected to be completed in 2022, officials say.