SeaWorld on Saudi shores likely

Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, met with executives from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

  
Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California March 19, 2014. A California lawmaker introduced a bill to ban live performances and captive breeding of killer whales in the state, a measure that would force the SeaWorld San Diego marine theme park to end is popular "Shamu" shows. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Mike Blake
23 June 2016
San Francisco - Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, met with executives from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment here Tuesday.

SeaWorld's CEO Joel Manby said that his company was looking at all the options for expanding global operations in tourism and looking for new partners, including Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia has beautiful coastlines filled with marine life and wild animals and it is in need for a tourism push. We are waiting for the opportunity to go there," Joel said.

SeaWorld has over 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase zoological collections of over 800 species of animals.

The company received 22.5 million visitors last year, including 3.3 million visitors from outside the United States.

It registered a revenue: $1.37bn ending December 2015 with a net income at $49.1m.

Providing a space for entertainment and promoting culture is featured prominently in Saudi Arabia's vision for the future that was announced in April.

Under the vision, Saudi Arabia has said it is planning to provide "land suitable for cultural and entertainment projects. Talented writers, authors and directors will be supported."

Prince Muhammad is currently visiting the US where he met US officials last week including President Barack Obama. He's currently meeting technology giants in Silicon Valley in talks about further investments.

He also signed a memorandum of understanding with Cisco Systems to help develop the digital infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

The Deputy Crown Prince also met with Satya Narayana Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, at the IT giant's office in Silicon Valley on Tuesday.

During the meeting, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed, under which Microsoft will train young Saudis and will support the Kingdom in its ambitious digital and knowledge-based innovation transformation under Vision 2030.

Microsoft inked another deal to boost the Decision Making Support Center at the Royal Court by setting up systems and operational programs with the help of a team of experts from Microsoft.

© The Saudi Gazette 2016

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