New tourism complex planned in KEC

Saudi Arabia's newly established Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has signed an agreement with Knowledge Economic City and Riyad Bank to co-finance the development of the SR 1.3 billion ($346.3 million) ‘KEC Hub’, a 68,000-sq-m tourism complex within Knowledge Economic City.

Located at the heart of Madinah, only around 6km from the Prophet’s Mosque, the new complex will comprise multiple hospitality and entertainment facilities including a five-star hotel and a shopping mall, making it the biggest of its kind hub in Madinah.

TDF, the SAR15 billion ($3.9 billion) fund tasked with unlocking opportunities in the tourism value chain, will provide a funding of SAR391 million ($104 million) to the development, while Riyad Bank will provide equal funding as a result of an earlier agreement signed with TDF to facilitate and finance tourism investments in kingdom.

Qusai Al-Fakhri, Chief Executive Officer of TDF, said: “This agreement is one of several successful agreements with local banks aimed at providing investors with attractive financial solutions that encourage investments into this promising sector. It exemplifies our commitment to delivering on the National Tourism Strategy, increasing the GDP contribution of the tourism sector from 3 per cent to 10 per cent by 2030 and creating 1 million new jobs.”

‘KEC Hub’ will strengthen the tourism offering in Madinah, widely recognised as the global hub for Islamic and historical sites. The city ranked 23rd globally in Euromonitor International’s list of top 100 city destinations for 2019.

"The world is increasingly recognising the hidden gems in the kingdom. With its rich culture and heritage and the government’s unwavering commitment to boost tourism, Saudi Arabia presents invaluable investment opportunities. Our mission at TDF is to unlock these opportunities by providing viable funding options, investment know-how and access to support services; all to make the investor experience more attractive,” Al-Fakhri said.