Project awards at Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya entertainment complex hit 2bn riyals

All awards over the first 12 months of the project have been to contractors from the kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company awarded 2 billion riyals ($533 million) in contracts since construction began at the mega entertainment and sports project near Riyadh 12 months ago.

All the contracts were awarded to construction companies from the kingdom including the recent 1.1bn riyals deal for the construction of major roads and bridges at the site, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The contract was won by a joint venture between Haif Company and Freyssinet Saudi Arabia.

“Reaching the 2bn riyals mark is a very important milestone for us, but what’s more important is that these contracts went through a tough and competitive bid process, and were won by Saudi firms, and this ... supports our intention to contribute to the growth of the domestic economy,” Kareem Shamma, chief development officer of Qiddiya, said.

The Qiddiya project, which is being funded by the Public Investment Fund and the kingdom's government, includes a Six Flags theme park, a water park and other entertainment activities. It will also feature sports facilities including a golf course and an arts complex. It is being built on a 334 square kilometre site close to Riyadh and is one of a series of mega-projects being delivered as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 programme aimed at diversifying the kingdom's economy.

“In line with the kingdom’s overarching strategy to open the country’s doors to the world, we aspire to create a key tourist destination on the world map. It will not just be a city but rather, a whole new world that promises elevated immersive experiences to visitors,” Mr Shamma said.

Qiddiya aims to continue construction work well into 2022, preparing the site for a testing and commissioning phase of attractions ahead of a grand opening in 2023, it said.

Other projects include the $500bn Neom business and industrial zone extending into Egypt and Jordan and a Red Sea tourism project, which includes a nature reserve, coral reefs and heritage sites on about 50 islands.

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