Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company, backed by the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, is set to award SR10 billion ($2.66 billion) contracts this year to speed up the construction of its mega entertainment and sports project in the capital Riyadh, reported The National, citing its top official.
“We’ve awarded well over SR1 billion contracts so far and that figure is going to jump, may be 10 times to SR10 billion, which will all be construction related contracts,” said its CEO Michael Reininger.
Set to become the kingdom’s capital of entertainment, sports and the arts, Qiddiya is located on the doorstep of Riyadh and as one of Saudi Arabia’s giga projects it will directly employ approximately 17,000 people by 2023.
HRH Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and of the Public Investment Fund (PIF
), announced the project in April 2017.
The ground-breaking took place in April 2018 and the company, Qiddiya Investment Company, was incorporated as a closed joint-stock company wholly-owned by PIF the next month.
To be developed over a 334 sq-km site close to Riyadh, Qiddiya project includes a number of facilities for sports, arts and entertainment activities. It is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 programme that aims to diversify the economy away from oil.
“We just awarded one of the major road contracts and are receiving major contract bids for the entirety of our utility system," stated Reininger. “We have strings of things that are coming up between now and the end of the year,” he added.
The project, which boasts an American theme park Six Flags, will be home to more than 300 recreational and educational facilities. They are centred around five major themes including parks and attractions, sports and wellness, nature and the environment, arts and culture, as well as motion and mobility.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, construction at the site and work is ongoing, said Reininger.
“The schedule is still on, which is why you see this rapid escalation in the actual contracts being awarded. We are hoping to finish the project by 2023,” he added.
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