The Saudi Tourism Development Fund signed an agreement with Knowledge Economic City and Riyadh Bank yesterday to jointly finance 1.3 billion Saudi riyals ($ 346.64 million) to boost tourism in Medina.
The project “City of Knowledge Forum”
The project will be built on an area of 68 thousand square meters, with a total value of more than 347 million dollars, making it one of the largest qualitative tourism projects in Medina.
The project will include a 5-star hotel that will be operated by a global brand, in addition to many tourist and entertainment facilities, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes.
The project is located less than 6 km from the Prophet’s Noble Mosque and is easily accessible via the Haramain express train station located in the city of knowledge. 9 million tourists, according to the latest pre-pandemic report from Euromonitor International, and Saudi Arabia aims to reach 30 million tourists by 2030.
Partnership with the banking sector
The CEO of the Saudi Tourism Development Fund, Qusay bin Abdullah Al-Fakhi, explained that the volume of funding provided by the Fund for the City of Knowledge Forum project is $ 104 million.
Riyad Bank provided financing of the same value within the framework of the partnership agreement signed with the fund in late 2020 to finance tourism projects.
$ 204 million is the cost of implementing the first phase of the City of Knowledge Forum project, which includes the commercial market, the hotel and the Boulevard
The tourism sector in Saudi Arabia has started reaping the fruits of the fund’s partnerships with Saudi banks, with the aim of finding financing solutions for investors.
Saudi Arabia’s strategic vision aims to raise the contribution of the tourism sector to 10% of GDP and generate one million total jobs by 2030.
The repayment period extends over 13 years, noting that the financing amount covers 79% of the project development cost.
The CEO of the Saudi Tourism Development Fund, Qusay bin Abdullah Al-Fakhi, said that in addition to financing specific projects through the capital allocated to it, the fund uses its partnerships with banks to provide appropriate financing solutions to investors in large projects.
It also provides financial and advisory support to small and medium companies and entrepreneurs, in addition to the Fund’s role in highlighting investment opportunities in various regions of the Kingdom and linking investors with project developers and global operators in order to increase their contributions to Saudi tourism.