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Samsung affiliates to create Saudi leisure hub

Oct 31,2019
Major Samsung affiliates will take part in the development of a so-called entertainment city in Saudi Arabia.

Samsung C&T and Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday to cooperate in building a sports and entertainment complex spanning an area of 334 square kilometers (129 square miles), roughly 2.5 times the size of Disney World in Florida.

QIC said it will collaborate with the Korean building company and other Samsung affiliates including Samsung Electronics for the project.

While details of the deal, including its price, have not been revealed yet, QIC said Samsung C&T will be engaging in the design, engineering and construction of the complex while Samsung Electronics will be its primary technology sponsor. It added that the partnership enables the company to “work with a number of businesses under the Samsung umbrella” in a statement Tuesday.

“The signing of this milestone MOU … demonstrates our commitment to achieving our dual goals of creating an unprecedented destination that enriches the lives of Saudi citizens while driving social and economic diversification within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Michael Reininger, CEO of QIC, in a statement.

“With the signing of the MOU … we are confident that we can leverage the full capabilities of both partners to deliver the most technologically advanced entertainment, sports and arts destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Kim Wan-soo, senior vice president of Samsung C&T.

The complex will be located roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh. The first phase of construction is scheduled for completion by 2022, and the full project is expected to finish by 2035.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has been pushing to expand business in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia. Lee visited Samsung C&T’s subway construction site in Riyadh last month and also met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during his stay.

During the visit, Lee had said “the Middle East is becoming a land of opportunity in the 21st century as the region pursues projects to reduce dependence on petroleum energy.”

In June, when the crown prince visited Korea, the heads of Korea’s top five conglomerates including Lee met with him at Seungjiwon in Hannam-dong, southern Seoul.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]


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