Saudi Arabia is reportedly exploring routes to turn archipelago islands, desert and mountains off the Red Sea coast into a global tourism destination through private investors.
According to news publication Bloomberg, Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund has committed financing for the project’s first phase, while the Red Sea Development Co is in talks with banks to raise funds.
The first phase of the Red Sea project, due to be to be completed in 2022, will include 14 hotels and a commercial airport. The development is expected to be fully completed by 2030.
In an interview with Red Sea Development’s chief executive officer, John Pagano, the company will structure the investments as joint ventures and expects interest from domestic and regional investors.
The company expects the development to create 70,000 jobs and contribute about 22 billion riyals (US$5.9 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product.