Saudi Arabia to set up $347mln tourism hub in Madinah KEC

KEC Hub is a 68,000 square metre tourism complex within Knowledge Economic City (KEC) in Madinah

  
Farm in front of a mountain, Al Madinah Province, Alula, Saudi Arabia on December 28, 2019 in Alula, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Farm in front of a mountain, Al Madinah Province, Alula, Saudi Arabia on December 28, 2019 in Alula, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has signed an agreement with Knowledge Economic City (KEC) in Madinah and Riyad Bank to co-finance the development of the 1.3-billion Saudi riyals ($347 million) KEC Hub, a 68,000 square metre tourism complex within Knowledge Economic City (KEC) in Madinah.

Located at the heart of the holy city, only around 6-km from the Prophet’s Mosque, the new complex will comprise multiple hospitality and entertainment facilities including a five-star hotel and a shopping mall, making it the biggest of its kind hub in Madinah, TDF said in a press statement.

TDF, the 15 billion riyals ($4 billion) fund tasked with unlocking opportunities in the tourism value chain, will provide a funding of 391 million riyals ($104 million) to the development, while Riyad Bank will provide equal funding as a result of an earlier agreement signed with TDF to facilitate and finance tourism investments in kingdom.

Qusai Al-Fakhri, Chief Executive Officer of TDF said: “This agreement is one of several successful agreements with local banks aimed at providing investors with attractive financial solutions that encourage investments into this promising sector. It exemplifies our commitment to delivering on the National Tourism Strategy, increasing the GDP contribution of the tourism sector from 3 percent to 10 percent by 2030 and creating one million new jobs.”

Video: New $347 million tourism hub for Madinah’s Knowledge Economic City

‘KEC Hub’ will strengthen the tourism offering in Madinah, which was ranked 23rd globally in Euromonitor International’s list of top 100 city destinations for 2019, the statement noted.

"With its rich culture and heritage and the government’s unwavering commitment to boost tourism, Saudi Arabia presents invaluable investment opportunities. Our mission at TDF is to unlock these opportunities by providing viable funding options, investment know-how and access to support services; all to make the investor experience more attractive,” Al-Fakhri concluded.

(Writing by Anoop Menon; editing by Seban Scaria)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)

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