Saudi Arabia to launch 'extreme' oil-themed park

Saudi Arabia to launch 'extreme' oil-themed park as country rebrands
2 min read
21 October, 2021
A 1.6 million-square-foot 'oil-inspired extreme theme park' will open in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom tries to attract tourists from across the world.
A theme park will open in Saudi Arabia [Getty-file photo]

Saudi Arabia has announced plans to convert an oilfield into an oil-inspired "extreme theme park" and luxury resort.

The theme park, named The Rig, will have various adventurous activities such as high roller-coaster rides, submarine activities, bungee jumping and sky diving.

The park will have three hotels and 11 restaurants across various connected platforms. Luxury travellers will be able to arrive by helicopter and a superyacht marina with 50 berths.

It will be funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), who announced the development of the 1.6 million-square-foot resort in a promotional video earlier this month.

The Kingdom's latest project aims to "provide a multitude of hospitality offerings, adventures, and aquatic sporting experiences", according to a statement by the PIF.

"This project is a unique tourism attraction, expected to attract tourists from around the world," it added.

The theme park is being described as the "world's first tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms," and is part of the Saudi Vision 2030's strategy, which aims to reposition Saudi Arabia as a top international tourism destination and diversify its economy.

The Rig is projected to open in 2025.

This month, Saudi Arabia opened its first official mixed-gender beach.

The Arab world's largest economy is trying to shed its reputation as an ultraconservative nation with complicated administrative procedures and obsolete regulations.

This month, Saudi Arabia opened its first official mixed-gender beach.

Since becoming de facto leader in 2017, Prince Mohammed has introduced sweeping economic and social changes, including allowing women to drive, the reopening of cinemas, and permitting mixed-gender music concerts and other entertainment options.

Music was banned in public places until 2017, a measure enforced by the religious police, and women were only allowed to drive a year later.

But simultaneously, the prince launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent and free speech, arresting women activists, clerics and journalists as well as royal family members.