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| 20 September, 2017

Saudi Arabia to launch $2.67bln entertainment company

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KSA - Jun 09, 2017 new buildings being constructed in the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh. Image for illustrative purpose.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KSA - Jun 09, 2017 new buildings being constructed in the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh. Image for illustrative purpose.

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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has said it is in the process of setting up a new company that will invest in entertainment projects in the Kingdom.

The company, which will have an initial capitalisation of 10 billion Saudi riyals ($2.67 billion), will invest "in various areas of the entertainment sector" as well as look for partnerships to build entertainment projects in the Kingdom, it said. Initial projects planned include an entertainment complex that will be launched by 2019, it added.

The new company has been launched in conjunction with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 strategy, which aims to drive private sector growth in the Kingdom, in part by boosting tourism.

"By the end of 2030, the company’s projects aim to serve more than 50 million visitors annually and create more than 22,000 jobs in the Kingdom, which will contribute around 8 billion Saudi riyals to GDP," it said.

"The company will seek to localize the large amount of spending on entertainment outside the Kingdom, in addition to promoting the entertainment sector’s role in diversifying revenue streams," it added.

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Within the past few months, a number of announcements have emerged from the Kingdom regarding plans to build tourism and entertainment projects.

These include plans for a sports, entertainment and cultural city, and a large safari area near Riyadh, a major new tourism resort by the Red Sea, and a cluster of three theme parks planned with US-based Six Flags Entertainment Corporation.

The Kingdom's National Transformation Plan, which was launched last year and is currently in the process of being updated, had set a target of increasing the number of jobs in the tourism and heritage sector from 830,000 in 2015 to 1.2 million by 2020.

© Zawya 2017