In what could be contemplated as a vigorous push from the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to sway the Kingdom’s gross output away from crude oil, Saudi Arabia’s PIF (Public Investment Fund) had rolled out a $3 billion tourism infrastructure venture in the Southwestern Asir region, the oil-dependent country’s state-backed news agency SPA had reported earlier on Wednesday.
In point of fact, latest move from Saudi’s PIF to invest as many as $3 billion in tourism infrastructure in the mountainous Asir region, widely known for its low-temperature and pleasant environment, came forth nearly a year and a half after the Kingdom had opened up its door to foreign tourists back in the 2019 by launching a new visa category for 49 countries, mostly aimed at diversifying the country’s oil-dependent economy.
Nonetheless, still at least a half of Saudi’s gross output has been stemming from the sales of crude oils.
SDC to develop $3 billion tourism-centric infrastructure in Asir
Aside from that, Saudi’s state-backed news agency SPA had also quoted saying at its report published earlier in the day that the SDC or Soudah Development Company would turn a mountainous area with an altitude of 3,015 metre alongside a nearby village, Rijal Alma, in the Southwestern Asir region, into a tourist destination for visitors and residents, while the project was expected to generate a lump-sum of $8 billion in the Kingdom’s gross domestic output by 2030.
Besides, SPA report had also added that the SDC would team up with country’s private sector to construct as many as 2,700 hotel rooms, 1,300 residential hubs alongside at least 30 entertainment and commercial attraction spots by 2030, while the $3 billion project was targeting to attract an approximated 2 million visitors per year.
Saudi PIF’s $3 billion tourism infrastructure project in Asir region was expected to create around 8,000 direct and indirect jobs, said the SPA.