Credit By: BUSINESS REPORTER
Merlin Entertainments, the business that runs Legoland and Madame Tussauds, said Saudi Arabia has “tremendous” prospects and is looking into expanding its Dubai operations as part of its quest for worldwide expansion.
The chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, Scott O’Neil, told The National that he plans to travel to Riyadh soon and that Saudi Arabia is a “very interesting” market as the country grows its tourism industry.
In an interview at Legoland Dubai, Mr. O’Neil stated, “We believe that there is tremendous opportunity there.”
“You have a government that wants to build, that wants to transition from oil into entertainment and a tourist economy, they have the will, they have the means, there seems to be a lot of incredible attractions going there – and it’s a reason that’s really interesting to us,” he said.
Saudi Arabia will host the opening of the world’s first Transformers indoor theme parks. Picture: SEVEN
The most outstanding economy in the Arab world is expanding non-oil industries like entertainment, culture, and sports to create jobs, improve citizens’ living standards, entice highly skilled personnel, and draw tourists to the kingdom. The action is a component of the Saudi Vision 2030, a plan established in 2016 to lessen the nation’s reliance on oil, revamp the economy, develop new businesses, and invest in already-existing high-value sectors.
In addition to his economic plan, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing social reforms to help the country modernize, including conducting music festivals, building theaters, and permitting women to drive.
In November, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund called Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) announced that it intended to invest $13.3 billion in developing 21 integrated entertainment venues across 14 Saudi cities.
The new locations will be created with well-known international brands like Hasbro, Warner Bros. Discovery, Mattel, and Clip ‘n Climb. Seven and Hasbro announced the first indoor entertainment centers with a Transformers theme will open in May.