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Saudi Arabia says it has a newinvestor: Richard Branson

by Zahraa Alkhalisi   @CNNMoneyInvest

October 2, 2017: 8:45 AM ET


Richard Branson loved Saudi Arabia so much, he wants to invest in it.

The Virgin founder toured Saudi attractions last week including heritage site Madain Saleh and a section of Red Sea coast that's slated to become a major tourist destination.


Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture and Information said that Branson would become an investor in the projects.


"Branson has become the first international investor to commit to involvement in the Red Sea Project and nearby [Madain Saleh], another prime site for the development of tourism, both domestic and international," the ministry said in a statement.


彼が投資をするとされているRed Sea Projectって何と思ったらサウジアラビアがこれから開発しようとするリゾート計画みたいです。モルディブみたいにするんでしょう。



Huge Red Sea Beach Tourism Project

By Alaa Shahine  and Vivian Nereim

201781 7:37 GMT+3 201781 14:27 GMT+3

Project will be developed by the sovereign wealth fund

Groundbreaking expected in 2019, first phase by end of 2022

Saudi Arabia wants to turn hundreds of kilometers of its Red Sea coastline into a global tourism destination governed by laws “on par with international standards” as part of its plan to transform the economy and reduce its reliance on oil.


The project will cover 50 islands and 34,000 square kilometers -- an area bigger than Belgium -- between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh to attract “luxury travelers from around the globe,” according to an official statement sent to Bloomberg on Tuesday. It will be developed by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, with the first work expected in two years.




If you can’t change restrictions on alcohol and dress, that market disappears,” said Crispin Hawes, London-based managing director at Teneo Intelligence, referring to foreign tourists.


Tourists will either not require a visa or will be able to obtain one online. One of the documents referred to the project as a “semi-autonomous” area governed “by independent laws and a regulatory framework developed and managed by a private committee,” a sign that it could ease strict rules applied elsewhere in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s austere interpretation of Sunni Islam bans alcohol, imposes a dress code, limits gender mixing and prevents women from driving cars.