Russia, China to invest in Saudi Arabia tourism projects

Russia, China to invest in Saudi Arabia tourism projects
Russia and China will invest in Saudi Arabia's tourism projects [representational image].
Published: 13 February 2019 - 5:45 a.m.
By: Neha Bhatia

Russia and China will invest in tourism projects in Saudi Arabia, according to the top boss of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the sovereign wealth fund that has the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the collaboration would come in light of the kingdom’s and Russia’s “plan to boost mutual investments” in tourism schemes.

Dmitriev said Saudi Arabia “is very interested in attracting Russian travellers”, adding: “Investments from the Saudi side in Russia are going to be increased, including [in] Russian tourism projects.

“The Russian-Chinese-Saudi fund will also invest in Saudi Arabia’s tourism, supported by the Saudi state. As you know, the kingdom was closed for tourism, [but it is now] opening opportunities – for us as well.”

The trilateral fund was formed in October 2018, when Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) joined Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) as a partner, raising its total capital value to $2.5bn.

In a statement at the time, RDIF explained that PIF – led by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Mohammad bin Salman – would contribute $500m to RCIF. The agreement was reached on the side lines of Future Investment Initiative 2018, which was held in Riyadh last October.

RDIF’s chief, with his colleagues, recently attended the launch of Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula cultural centre, according to a statement on the sovereign wealth fund’s website. The historic Al-Ula area is also set to see the development of the Sharaan resort and Sharaan Natural Reserve in the next half decade.

“During the visit, we reached an agreement for Russian archaeologists to work on historical sites across the region,” Dmitriev said.

“We see Al-Ula as a prime destination that will soon be appreciated by Russian tourists, and significantly exceed their expectations.”

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