resort

Saudis launch multi-billion dollar resort

MNA Entertainment Desk: Saudi King Salman and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman attended the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday of a vast entertainment resort that is at the heart of an ambitious strategy to open the economy and ease social restrictions.

Qiddiya, about an hour’s drive from Riyadh, is being built on a 334 sq km (8,400-acre) site, making it 2-1/2 times the size of Disney World, reported news agency.

It will include a Six Flags theme park, water parks, motor sports, cultural events, and vacation homes. A spokesman said Qiddiya expects to attract 1.5 million visitors annually when the first phase opens in 2022.

Local media have reported the cost of the infrastructure alone would reach up to 30 billion riyals ($8 bln) and the project would eventually be worth tens of billions of riyals.

Little more than a week after Saudi Arabia opened its first cinema after a nearly four-decade ban, the author of the reforms, prince Mohammed, and his father attended the lavish launch ceremony, which featured a live orchestra, fireworks and a vocal performance praising both leaders.

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