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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Saudi Arabia incorporates company to oversee multi-billion dollar Qiddiya project 

The project is at the heart of the kingdom’s efforts to develop a multi-sector economy and bring about social and cultural changes

The Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey. Saudi Arabia will open by 2022 an entertainment city which will include a Six Flags theme park. Mario Tama / Getty Images / AFP
The Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey. Saudi Arabia will open by 2022 an entertainment city which will include a Six Flags theme park. Mario Tama / Getty Images / AFP

Saudi Arabia has incorporated Qiddiya, the multi-billion-dollar entertainment destination in the kingdom, as a standalone business entity called Qiddiya Investment Company, a key step in the phase one of the project scheduled for 2022 completion.

QIC, which will oversee the development of Qiddiya, is now registered with the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment as a closed joint-stock company, wholly owned by the Kingdom’s sovereign investment fund, Public Investment Fund, according to a Ministry of Culture and Information statement released on Monday.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the project, which was announced in April last year as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030. The project is at the heart of the kingdom’s efforts to bring about social and cultural changes.

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Being built just 40 kilometres away from the capital Riyadh, Qiddiya covers 334 square kilometers – 2.5 times the size of Walt Disney World. It is part of the broader plans of developing a multi-sector economy and ensuring sustainable growth.

“Qiddiya will anchor the epicenter of an entirely new economic sector in Saudi that will support the emergence of supplementary sectors and services as it develops,” according to the statement. “QIC will allow the domestic economy to recapture the $30bn spent annually by Saudis on foreign tourism.”

When finished, Qiddiya, will include a Six Flags theme park, water parks, motor sports, cultural events and vacation homes and is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors annually.

Local media have reported the cost of the infrastructure alone would reach up to 30bn riyals (Dh29.28bn) and the project would eventually be worth tens of billions of riyals.