Saudi hires ex-Canary Wharf executive for Red Sea tourism project

Participants watch a movie advertising Saudi’s Red Sea project on the sidelines of the three-day Future Investment Initiatives conference in Riyadh, on October 25, 2017. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, a vast tourist development aimed at opening the economy, has been registered as a standalone company and will be headed by a former director of London’s Canary Wharf business zone, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Sunday.

In July, the Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the kingdom’s Red Sea coast and said the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will make initial investments and seek partnerships with international investors and hoteliers. 

Participants watch a movie advertising Saudi’s Red Sea project. (AFP)

Participants watch a movie advertising Saudi’s Red Sea project. (AFP)



The Red Sea Project, part of an ambitious strategy to open the economy and ease social restrictions, will be built between the cities of Amlaj and al-Wajh, will offer a nature reserve, heritage sites and diving in coral reefs. It will break ground in the third quarter of 2019 and complete its first phase in late 2022.   

Two other major initiatives 

PIF has two other major initiatives: NEOM - a $500 billion business and industrial zone extending into Egypt and Jordan - and Qiddiya, a multi-billion dollar entertainment resort that will be two-and-a-half times the size of Disney World. 

SEE ALSO: Saudi Crown Prince announces launch of global tourism ‘Red Sea Project’

“The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has registered The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by PIF,” a statement emailed to Reuters said.

John Pagano, the former managing director for development, of the Canary Wharf Group in London, has been appointed as chief executive officer, it said.

SEE ALSO: All you need to know about the Red Sea Project

The Red Sea Development Co will create a special economic zone with its own regulatory framework, visas on entry, relaxed social norms, and improved business regulations, the statement said, adding this will enable it to develop and deliver a world-class international tourist destination.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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