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Saudi Arabia announces plans to build leisure complex in Riyadh

Published: Updated:

Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, has announced plans on Wednesday to build a leisure and entertainment complex in the capital Riyadh, the latest in a series of state-backed efforts to diversify the economy.

The 100,000 square meter complex will include a variety of entertainment facilities selected to suit the aspirations of citizens and visitors, according to a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company, Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Dawoud said that entertainment complexes projects will feature a distinctive modern design, the first of its kind with green and open areas and equipped for sports activities, entertainment and live shows, and will include a wide variety of local and international restaurants and cafes.

The Public Investment Fund established SEVEN last year with initial funding of 10 billion riyals ($2.67 billion) and hired former Disney executive Bill Ernest to run it.

The company aims to set up about 20 entertainment centers around the country over the next several years, as Saudi Arabia tries to use the leisure sector to create more than 22,000 direct jobs and diversify the economy beyond oil exports contributing to the Gross Domestic Product an estimiated amount of eight billion riyals by 2030.