Published on : Friday, April 23, 2021
The recently established Tourism Development Fund (TDF) of Saudi Arabia 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’. It would be a 68,000-sq-m tourism complex within Knowledge Economic City.
Situated at the heart of Madinah, only around 6kms from the Prophet’s Mosque, the KEC Hub will have multiple hospitality and entertainment amenities like a five-star hotel and a shopping mall. It would be the biggest of its kind hub in Madinah.
TDF, the SAR15 billion ($3.9 billion) fund assigned with unlocking opportunities in the tourism value chain, will provide a funding of SAR391 million ($104 million) to the development. Due to an earlier agreement signed with TDF, Riyad Bank will provide equal funding to facilitate and finance Kingdom’s tourism investments.
To quote Qusai Al-Fakhri, Chief Executive Officer of TDF, “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 make the tourism offering stronger in Madinah. It will be widely recognized as the global hub for Islamic and historical attractions. The city in Euromonitor International’s list of top 100 city destinations for 2019, ranked 23rd globally.
“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.