Saudi Arabia plans to convert an offshore oil rig into a luxury extreme sports amusement park

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Saudi Arabia plans to convert an offshore oil rig into a luxury extreme sports amusement park
© Public Investment Fund Saudi Arabia plans to convert an offshore oil rig into a luxury extreme sports amusement park

  • The Rig, an oil-themed amusement park, will open on offshore platforms in Saudi Arabia.
  • The “extreme park” will span 150,000 square meters and sit atop a converted oil rig in the Arabian Gulf.

Saudi Arabia is creating the “world’s first tourism destination on offshore platforms” as part of a drive to diversify the economy away from oil.

According to a press release, The Rig will be an oil-themed “extreme park” spanning a total area of more than 150,000 square meters and sitting atop a converted oil rig in the Arabian Gulf.

-Mark Tomasovic (@MarkTomasovic) October 16, 2021

Funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, The Rig will play host to extreme sports, helipads, and a “range of adventurous activities.” CNN Travel reported that there will be roller coaster rides, bungee jumping, and skydiving.

There will also be three hotels, with over 800 rooms, and 11 restaurants, including one offering “undersea dining.”

Branded as the “world’s biggest offshore multipurpose structure,” a press release by the Public Investment Fund says that The Rig is part of a strategy to add value to the local economy and to support “Saudi Arabia’s efforts to become a leading global tourist destination.”

The Middle Eastern nation has a strategic framework, known as Saudi Vision 2030, which is part of efforts to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and to diversify the economy.

It produces around 12,402,761 barrels of oil per day, accounting for over 16 percent of the world’s total oil reserves. Oil currently compromises 30 to 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s real GDP, but there are plans to bring in revenue by developing public service sectors, including tourism.

Government schemes to develop theme parks, like the Six Flags complex at Al-Qidiya, south-west of Riyadh, and to build tens of hotels and 1,300 residential units along the country’s Red Sea coast are part of a bid to attract 100 milion tourists a year by the end of the decade.

The opening date for The Rig has not yet been announced.

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