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AlWadi is latest project in Saudi Arabia’s tourism push

Over 30 percent of AlWadi will be developed as green open spaces, with over 16 km of waterfront and 17 km of sports trails

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a new company to develop sustainable tourism in the kingdom’s southwest region, which aims to contribute more than SAR19 billion ($5.07 billion) to the non-oil GDP by 2030.

Spread across 2.5 million square meters, AlWadi – meaning “the valley”– will be developed by Ardara, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The company’s first development will be an urban centre and tourist destination. Over 30 percent of the project will be developed as green open spaces, with over 16 km of waterfront and 17 km of sports trails.

AlWadi will feature five districts offering residential, hospitality and recreation options in phase one, which will be completed in the next three years. 

The first phase will include 2,000 residential options, such as high-end apartments and villas, luxury hotels and commercial spaces.

No financial details were given.

Ardara will seek investment and partnership tie-ups with local and international investors in the hospitality, arts, culture, food and agriculture, as well as retail and entertainment sectors.

PIF earlier this month launched the Al Balad Development Company to develop Jeddah’s historic Al Balad district as the kingdom targets 150 million visitors by 2030.

The $500 billion giga-project Neom also unveiled plans for a new sustainable tourism destination built between 400-metre-high mountains.

Saudi Arabia has been described as the biggest construction site the world has ever seen, with $1.1 trillion of building projects currently in progress across the kingdom.