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Saudi reveals plans for second entertainment hub in Riyadh

It will include a variety of “carefully selected recreational facilities” along with restaurants and event spaces

A second mega entertainment hub in Saudi capital Riyadh has been revealed by the Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company (Seven) – a fully owned subsidiary of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Located in the Al-Rabwa neighbourhood, the complex will be spread across 135,000 square metres, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

It will include a variety of “carefully selected recreational facilities” along with restaurants and cafes, open spaces for events, sports and live shows, as well as cinema halls.

The location was chosen due to the population density in the region, its need for modern leisure destinations and for ease of access since it is located close to the Salah Al-Din station of the Riyadh metro project, the report added.

Chairman of Seven, Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Dawoud, said that the development of leisure complexes will be expanded under a geographical plan covering the all of the kingdom’s regions and include diverse entertainment options.

The announcement comes after Seven revealed plans for the first such complex in December last year. Also to be located in Riyadh, the destination will offer similar leisure options.

Seven was first announced by the PIF in September 2017, with SAR10bn ($2.7bn) in initial capital, to act as the kingdom’s entertainment investment arm.

The company is working to support and develop the entertainment sector, build capacity and strengthen local talent through the establishment of various recreational projects across the country.

It is focussing on four strategic sectors launching films – launched with the opening of the first cinema in April 2018; recreational complexes; amusement parks; and family entertainment centres.

By the end of 2030, the company’s projects are anticipated to contribute SAR8bn ($2.1bn) to the country’s gross domestic product, serve more than 50 million visitors annually, and create more than 22,000 direct jobs in the kingdom.

It is also hoped to play a vital role in diversifying Saudi’s economy as per its Vision 2030 agenda.

In April last year, the kingdom also launched a massive entertainment resort about an hour’s drive from Riyadh, which is being built on a 334sqkm site.

Qiddiya will include a Six Flags theme park, water parks, motor sports, cultural events, and vacation homes. It hopes to attract 1.5 million visitors annually when the first phase opens in 2022.

The cost of the infrastructure alone is reported to reach up to SAR30bn, according to local media reports.

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