Saudi Arabia continues to reach into its deep pockets to position itself as a global luxury tourism powerhouse — this time with the world’s first theme park on an offshore oil rig, encompassing over 150,000sqm.
The completion of this pioneering venture, funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), will mark the first theme park of its kind, and the world’s first tourism destination located on offshore platforms.
Aptly named The Rig, the upcoming theme park will be built on suspended platforms above the Arabian Gulf. Further adding to its exclusivity, access is limited only to tourists who can secure a ride to its unique location by helicopter, yacht, cruise ship or ferry.
According to PIF’s website, The Rig will “feature a number of touristic attractions, including three hotels, 11 restaurants, helipads, and a range of adventurous activities, including extreme sports".
PIF’s promotional video, which was released on 16 October, suggests that other attractions The Rig may potentially offer include a rollercoaster, ferris wheel, multiple high-speed water slides, go-karting, ziplining, bungee-jumping, jet skiing, scuba-diving, and mini submarine tours.
This unique project is just one of the many developments in the pipeline under a five-year (2021 – 2025) strategy — including a mega airport city in Jeddah — to shift its GDP growth towards non-oil related sectors by 2030.
In line with Saudi Arabia’s environmentally friendly endeavour to move away from its heavy dependence on oil and make the switch to renewable energy, the construction of The Rig will be executed in a manner that ensures “the sustainable preservation of the environment in the project’s vicinity”. PIF also states that it “will follow leading global standards and best practices, further supporting the Kingdom’s broader efforts on environmental protection".
The Rig’s official launch date has yet to be announced.