Saudi Arabia unveils plans for ‘entertainment city’ near Riyadh

A view shows buildings and houses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The new complex will be built on the edge of Riyadh (pictured)

Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans for an entertainment city on the edge of Riyadh which will be 50 times the size of Gibraltar once complete.

The 334 sq km (129 sq mile) attraction – about the same as Las Vegas – will offer cultural, sporting and entertainment activities – including a Six Flags park and a safari park.

The announcement boasts it will be the first of its kind in the world.

Building will begin early next year and the first stage finished by 2022.

It forms part of a wider master plan.

Vision 2030, announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman a year ago, aims to diversify the economy and reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil, through a series of projects.

The entertainment city – about a fifth of the area of Riyadh in size – is the latest to be announced.

Authorities say the hope is it will not only attract visitors but “achieve a healthy and harmonious life, and provide more entertainment, joy and fun” for those who live in the capital.

However, it is unclear how something like a Six Flags will work in a country where women and men are largely segregated. Up until now, theme parks in Saudi Arabia have been largely aimed at children.

Saudi Arabia unveils plans for ‘entertainment city’ near Riyadh}

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