Saudi Arabia to launch offshore oil-themed extreme theme park in world first

Saudi Arabia has announced plans to open an oil themed "extreme park" and resort located in the Arabian Gulf.

The Middle Eastern country will convert an oil rig into a 150,000 square metre resort which will spread over a number of connected platforms and will include three hotels, 11 restaurants, roller coasters, as well as activities such as bungee jumping and skydiving.

Described as the "world’s first tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms," the attraction aims to "provide a multitude of hospitality offerings, adventures and aquatic sporting experiences," CNN reports.

The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) said in a statement: "This project is a unique tourism attraction, expected to attract tourists from around the world."

It’s part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030’s strategy to reposition the country as a top international tourism destination, in order to diversify its economy and compete with its neighbours, such as the UAE and Oman.

While millions of religious visitors make the pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca every year, the country’s conservative laws restricting women’s freedoms, along with its troubling human rights history have made it a less-than-favourable destination for tourists.

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But that’s something Saudi officials want to change and they aim to attract 100 million tourists each year by the end of the decade.

This comes as earlier this year, plans for a second national airline, along with an investment plan of £106 billion into transport and logistics were confirmed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A completion date for the "extreme park" has not yet been announced.

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