First Published: 2017-09-20

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company
Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase domestic spending on entertainment, launch hundreds of recreation centres as part of Vision 2030 plan.
Middle East Online

Cars drive down main road in Saudi capital Riyadh.

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is set to create a $2.7 billion entertainment investment company, state media said Wednesday, as the ultra-conservative kingdom opens up avenues for leisure.

The country seeks to increase domestic spending on entertainment and launch hundreds of recreation centres across the kingdom as part of its Vision 2030 plan to reduce its dependence on oil.

"The Public Investment Fund is in the process of developing a new company to act as its investment arm in Saudi Arabia's growing entertainment sector," the Saudi Press Agency said.

"The company, which will have an initial capitalisation of SAR 10 billion, will play an active investment role in various areas of the entertainment sector."

The unnamed company will invest in a variety of projects, including an entertainment complex that will be launched by 2019, SPA said, adding that it aims to create more than 22,000 jobs by 2030.

SPA did not give further details about the projects.

Alcohol, cinemas and theatres are currently banned in the kingdom, an absolute monarchy and one of the world's most conservative countries.

Vision 2030, an ambitious economic diversification plan unveiled in April 2016, aims to broaden its investment base to make citizens reliant on private sector jobs rather than on government largesse.

The largest Arab economy is suffering from a sharp slide in oil revenues since crude prices plummeted in mid-2014, forcing Riyadh to cut subsidies and delay projects.

 

10 killed in Toronto “deliberate” van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Rouhani warns Trump against betraying nuclear deal

Saudi king to launch 'entertainment city'

Can Arab satellite TV catch up with social media?

Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’

Mass grave discovered under Raqa football pitch

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy