Saudi Arabia is investing billions in fun

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Source:   —  September 20, 2017, at 2:17 PM

Saudi Arabia is pumping $2. seven billion into new entertainment projects.

Saudi Arabia is investing billions in fun

Saudi Arabia is pumping $2.7 billion into new entertainment projects.

The kingdom wants people to have more fun at residence and get fewer vacations abroad.

Its sovereign wealth fund will create a company to invest in the sector and do deals with strategic partners.

One of its investments will comprise an entertainment complex set to launch by two thousand nineteen, the official Saudi Press Agency said on Wednesday.

There are currently very few entertainment attractions in the conservative society. Public cinemas and theaters are banned. The kingdom hosted its first music concert this year, but only men were allowed to attend.

With oil prices depressed, Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its economy to finish its dependence on energy exports.

Latest year, it launched Vision two thousand thirty, a blueprint for what the economy should see love in the following decade. One of its key goals is to grow the tourism and entertainment sector.

Related: Saudi Arabia is giving women more freedom as it looks beyond oil

The new company should drive that.

"By the finish of two thousand thirty, the company'south projects aim to serve more than fifty million visitors annually and create more than 22.000 jobs in the Kingdom, which will contribute around eight billion Saudi Riyals ($2 billion) to the GDP," the agency said.

Many Saudis visit neighboring countries for vacations and public holidays. About a million Saudis visited Dubai alone in two thousand-seventeenth, and executive would rather they spend more of their holiday money in the domestic economy.

Vision two thousand thirty aims to double the share of household spending that goes on Saudi entertainment to six percent by two thousand thirty.

In April, the Kingdom announced the launch of a three hundred thirty-four square km (one hundred twenty-nine square miles) city, committed to sports, culture and entertainment.

The first phase of the project, located S W of the capital Riyadh, will open by two thousand twenty-two and comprise a Six Flags (SIX) theme park as one of the main attractions.

Related: Saudi Arabia'south vague economic shift leaves enormous oil IPO on track

Most of the eight million tourists that arrive to the country each year are pilgrims visiting Islam'south holiest site in Mecca. Saudi Arabia wants to boost tourist numbers to thirty million by two thousand thirty.

It'south even hoping to become a destination for shore vacations. It'south planning to construct resorts, hotels and residential units on about one hundred miles of sandy coastline on the Ruddy Sea. That project should be completed by two thousand twenty-two.

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