Oil-dependent Saudi Arabia takes the concept of economic diversification at face value.
The kingdom has announced plans to convert an oil rig in the Persian Gulf into an “extreme park” and a 1.6 million square foot complex, according to CNN.
The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is behind the project, nicknamed “The Rig”. It would include three hotels, 11 restaurants, helipads, roller coasters, and activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving and water sports spread across a series of platforms.
Renderings show a concert hall and an underwater restaurant. We imagine a cruise ship moored to the platform. PIF has not released an expected completion date.
The project is part of a larger government initiative to develop the country’s tourism industry and diversify its economy as part of its Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.
The PIF said in a statement that it hopes to attract “tourists from all over the world,” while specifically targeting people from Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Meanwhile, construction is underway at Six Flags Qiddiya, outside Riyadh, with a completion date announced in 2023.
The park is anchored by Falcon’s Flight, which when completed could be the world’s fastest and tallest autonomous roller coaster, overtaking Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in neighboring United Arab Emirates. It should pull passengers at around 155 miles an hour.
The nation is also looking for investors and brands from abroad. This summer, Sam Nazarian announced plans for a $ 100 million expansion in the country as part of a joint venture with WK Holding.
His company, C3, is preparing to introduce 40 international brands to the country, including Umami Burger and El Pollo Verde.[CNN] – Dennis Lynch