Two huge events in the Middle East could be the spark to ignite a host of visitor attraction projects to ease the region’s reliance on oil and gas income. The visitor attraction market in the Middle East has always been of great interest because it has always offered opportunity. This was all driven by oil and gas revenues, which has made Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE among the most cash-rich countries in the world. But oil revenues are not as dependable as they used to be, the Covid pandemic saw oil prices reach a 20-year low in 2020 and lying ominously ahead is a time when oil will run dry.
The biggest project in the Middle East right now outside of Expo/World Cup is undoubtedly Qiddiya, located 40 miles from Riyadh City in Saudi Arabia. Qiddiya is one of the Kingdom's giga-projects – the others are NEOM, Amaala, and the Red Sea Project – to be rolled out as part of Vision 2030, the framework which aims to diversify the income of the country.
Thanks to a €420bn investment from the PIF, NEOM will be a futuristic new city 33 times the size of New York City. Built along the Red Sea, NEOM is aiming to be Saudi Arabia’s answer to Silicon Valley and will include towns, cities, research, education zones, and tourist attractions.
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