(MENAFN - Arab News) Aqeer beach project, located in Ahsa Province, is expected to attract SR50 billion in investments over the next 25 years once the infrastructure works are completed.
Local media quoting businessmen said 80 percent of the investments were expected to come from Saudi and other GCC firms, particularly Qatari and the Emirati investors.
Aqeer beach was selected for development as a major tourist destination in the Kingdom, following a strategic partnership between Al-Ahsa Governorate and the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), Al-Hayat daily quoted experts as saying.
Al-Ahsa Governorate embarked on mega developmental projects in this regard, including a recreational zone with integrated services spread over an area of 570,000 square meters while the shoreline extends over 1,000 meters, said Abdullah Al-Arfaj, head of construction and projects.
The recreational area will include lakes, islands, bridges, water games extending over an area of 30,000 square meters in addition to landscaped land covering 120,000 square meters. The area will also include large trees and shrubs, a mosque, toilets, restaurants and chalets, he said.
Earlier, the Council of Ministers agreed to allocate about SR1.4 billion to meet the basic infrastructure requirements of the project, of which SR1 billion will be utilized for power connection and the remaining SR400 million for water and sanitary services.
The infrastructure works in Aqeer were taken up following the establishment of Aqeer Development Company with a capital outlay of SR2.7 billion last September. The infrastructure projects will give a big boost to the development of Aqeer, which is being jointly worked out by the SCTA and Al-Ahsa Governorate, Al-Arfaj said.
Entry of investors in the project in later stages of development is expected to give a significant boost to attract tourists from different parts of the Kingdom and neighboring countries, he said.
Businessman Ibrahim Al-Dosari believes that the project will turn out to be the biggest investment of its kind in the region due to its proximity to Gulf ports and with Al-Ahsa being one of the biggest agricultural oasis in the world.
Economist and businessman Walid Al-Kathir said all the targets of the project can be achieved if implementation is dealt with seriously. It has the potential to become the leading tourist destination in the Kingdom, he added.