Tourists will be travelling in style to a giant oil rig theme park planned off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom has signed a deal which it hopes will see tourists taken to its offshore theme park “The Rig” via eVTOL aircraft.
The deal, signed with Riyadh-based Saudia will explore “new transportation methods” for the $5bn theme park as part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to bring in 150 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2030.
That includes eVTOL, a futuristic type of aircraft that uses an electric power system to enable vertical takeoff, hovering, and landing.
eVTOL has been heralded as a new market horizon for transport, particularly in heavily congested cities like New York or London as an alternative transport.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects it could be operating “at scale” in US cities by 2028.
Ibrahim Koshy of Saudia said: “At Saudia, we are deeply committed to fulfilling our role as the ‘Wings of Vision 2030’ to accomplish our goals in line with the Kingdom’s tourism strategy, which is to bring around 150 million visitors to Saudi Arabia by 2030.
“This collaboration holds great promises for the travel and tourism industry. Along with our partners, we look forward to leveraging our combined expertise to drive innovation and sustainable growth in the sector.”
The $5bn theme park is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund.
A masterplan unveiled last month set out its intention to bring in a whopping 900,000 visitors annually by 2032.
The facility, converting a platform in the Arabian Gulf, will also cater to guests travelling aboard by ferry, yacht, or cruise liner.
It will be kitted out with 800 rooms, 11 restaurants, a diving centre, amusement park, splash park, E-sports centre, a theatre and a “multipurpose arena”.
Separately, the company behind the theme park, Oil Park Development Company (OPDC), has also signed a memorandum of understanding with he Saudi Facility Management Company (FMTECH)
CEO of The Rig, Raed Bakhrji said: “THE RIG. draws inspiration from Vision 2030 and its initiatives to develop the tourism sector. It is expected to be one of the leading adventure tourism projects, offering visitors an unparalleled mix of adventure experiences.
“Our collaboration with Saudia is expected to enhance the quality and uniqueness of our offerings, providing visitors with a wide range of easy access options to this distinctive tourist destination.”