[Oct 19, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
In an effort to further boost the country’s emerging entertainment and tourism industry, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced its latest venture — The Rig.
Dubbed the ‘world’s first tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms’, the ‘extreme park’ and resort boasts 150,000 square meters of entertainment space and is located on the Arabian Gulf. It features three hotels, 11 restaurants, a rollercoaster, scuba diving, along with countless other adrenaline-rush activities.
The upcoming attraction is being devised in line with the long-term Saudi Vision 2030's strategy, which aims to reposition Saudi Arabia as a top international tourism destination and diversify its economy.
The project, which takes inspiration from offshore oil platforms, is to be located on a rig in the Arabian Gulf. (CREDIT: Public Investment Fund)
While millions of religious visitors make the pilgrimage to the Saudi holy city of Mecca every year, the country's conservative laws restricting women's freedoms, along with it troubling human rights history have made it a less than favorable destination for many international visitors.
In a press release earlier this month, the government agency said The Rig is expecting to attract tourists from around the world. Renderings of the upcoming attraction, which aims to "provide a multitude of hospitality offerings, adventures, and aquatic sporting experiences," along with a promotional video, were released earlier this month.
It will feature a number of attractions, including three hotels restaurants and various adventurous activities. (CREDIT: Public Investment Fund)
According to the website, visitors may only arrive via ferry, yacht, cruise ship or helicopter.
While some skeptics question the environmental impact of such a project, the investment fund said that ‘to ensure the sustainable preservation of the environment in the project’s vicinity, the project will follow leading global standards and best practices, further supporting the Kingdom’s broader efforts on environmental protection.’ This could be seen as step towards normalizing and restructuring the image of oil rigs, making them more accessible to the public.
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