Saudi Arabia will be aiming to launch its own rival to Disney parks

Numerous social as well as economic reforms are being implemented in Saudi Arabia by the kingdom’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said in a statement, “This specific city will become, by God’s will, a prominent cultural landmark as well as an important center for meeting the future generation’s recreational, cultural as well as social needs inside kingdom.”

Vision 2030 aims to see annual domestic spending on culture as well as entertainment increase via the current 2.9 percent of total household expenditure to 6 percent by 2030. as well as international investors may have a lucrative role to play — U.S.-based theme park operator Six Flags has already been in discussions with the Saudi government since 2017 over plans to build parks inside kingdom.

Bin Salman recently toured the U.S. on a PR blitz as well as met with Silicon Valley giants as well as corporate leaders including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger, promoting his government’s projects to attract foreign investment. The prince has been the recipient of both praise as well as intense criticism for a range of bold moves including lifting the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia, as well as a bloody as well as prolonged bombing campaign over Yemen, the region’s poorest country.

additional projects inside kingdom include NEOM, a fresh city which will serve as an economic as well as tech hub between Egypt, Saudi as well as Jordan — an estimated $500 billion investment whose first phase will be set for completion in 2025.

Most of the country’s major projects are funded in large part by its sovereign wealth fund, though a growing budget deficit as well as low oil prices give some observers reason to question the projects’ viability. Oil-exporting countries have been searching for ways to develop alternative revenue sources since the global slump in oil prices in 2014.

Just last week, Saudi Arabia opened its first movie theater in 35 years, in a move both economic as well as symbolic. which’s hoped to boost domestic spending on entertainment as well as leisure, while also signifying a move toward greater social liberalization in a country heavily controlled by religious laws. Still, strict Islamic rules on gender segregation, dress as well as behavior will likely test the limits of these fresh reform efforts.

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