SEVEN Announces SAR1.1 Billion Entertainment Destination in Saudi Arabia's Yanbu

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN)
Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN)
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SEVEN Announces SAR1.1 Billion Entertainment Destination in Saudi Arabia's Yanbu

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN)
Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN)

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has been awarded AL BAWANI CO. LTD and UCC Saudi joint venture contract to build the new entertainment destination in Yanbu.

Construction is already underway in the historic port located on the Kingdom’s western coast on the Red Sea, a statement released by SEVEN said.

With an investment value of over SAR1.1 billion, SEVEN’s entertainment destination in Yanbu is located along the seafront promenade on Al Nawras Island. The entertainment destination will offer visitors a wide variety of experiences designed to engage all age groups from the local community and the surrounding areas.

According to the statement, the project is designed by Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm. The architecture of this entertainment destination is inspired by the city’s heritage. The design is a celebration of water, with elements of the beach and the sea threaded throughout.

“Our entertainment destination in Yanbu will provide residents and visitors with a wealth of new and exciting experiences while supporting the city’s rapidly developing entertainment sector. SEVEN’s entertainment destination is inspired by Yanbu’s beautiful natural seascape, embodying the city’s rich history as one of the oldest ports in the Kingdom,” said Chairman of SEVEN Abdullah AlDawood.

According to AL BAWANI CO. LTD. Chairman and Group CEO Fakher Al Shawaf, “SEVEN’s investment will help Yanbu’s growing population meet its entertainment needs. AL BAWANI is well-positioned to deliver this unique destination to meet the ever-growing aspirations of Saudis."

UCC Holding President Ramez Al-Khayyat said the company will "leverage our extensive experience in building entertainment destinations to deliver the project on time, to the highest international standards.”

SEVEN Yanbu will be home to a highly immersive carnival-themed family entertainment center with world class rides. Other attractions will include a Clip ‘n Climb facility providing 30 climbing challenges, a junior family entertainment center, a state-of-the-art 10-screen cinema, a futuristic 10-lane bowling experience, a fun-filled indoor golf course, and a wide variety of local and international retail and dining experiences, the statement said.

SEVEN is investing more than SAR50 billion to build 21 entertainment destinations to provide unique and innovative world-class entertainment experiences; it has secured global partnerships from the sector.

SEVEN has recently announced that it had begun construction at its entertainment destinations in Al Hamra districts of Riyadh and Tabuk. Its upcoming projects are located in 14 cities across the Kingdom: Riyadh, Kharj, Makkah, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Khobar, Al Ahsa, Madinah, Yanbu, Abha, Jazan, Buraidah and Tabuk.



Japan Seeks More Visitors Despite Overtourism Woes

The municipality famous for Himeji Castle is reportedly mulling making the World Heritage site's admission fees for overseas tourists four times as expensive as those for local residents. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
The municipality famous for Himeji Castle is reportedly mulling making the World Heritage site's admission fees for overseas tourists four times as expensive as those for local residents. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
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Japan Seeks More Visitors Despite Overtourism Woes

The municipality famous for Himeji Castle is reportedly mulling making the World Heritage site's admission fees for overseas tourists four times as expensive as those for local residents. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP
The municipality famous for Himeji Castle is reportedly mulling making the World Heritage site's admission fees for overseas tourists four times as expensive as those for local residents. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Japan's tourism chief said Thursday its ambitious goal of luring 60 million foreign tourists a year -- more than double the current level -- is well within reach, despite surging overtourism concerns.
Japan last year attracted over 25 million tourists from abroad, in part buoyed by the lifting of pandemic-era border restrictions, from countries such as South Korea, Singapore and the United States, said AFP.
Ichiro Takahashi, head of Japan's tourism agency, acknowledged the previously announced target of 60 million remains "tough", but stressed it is within the realm of possibility.
"It is a figure that we can very much achieve by making the right efforts", Takahashi told a briefing in Tokyo.
"There are still many little-known places in Japan that are left unexplored by tourists from overseas -- I believe Japan has infinite tourism resources," Takahashi said.
Over three million foreign tourists visited Japan for a third consecutive month in May, according to government statistics released Wednesday.
But an influx of tourists to Japan has reignited concerns over overtourism in recent months, with local residents complaining of their sometimes unruly behavior and etiquette breaches.
The city of Himeji, in western Japan, was among the latest local governments to express frustrations.
The municipality famous for Himeji Castle is mulling making the World Heritage site's admission fees for overseas tourists four times as expensive as those for local residents, local media reported.
"A wooden structure will be worn out and become more brittle after many people climb up and down", mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto told Japanese media, stressing the need to "curb overtourism".
Local citizens using the castle as a community hub shouldn't be charged the same amount as "people who only come here once in around 10 years for sightseeing purposes", he said.
Another flashpoint around overtourism is Mount Fuji, where a new, crowd-control gate was erected Monday along its popular trail.
The measure followed a rare step taken last month by an exasperated Japanese town to deliberately block a view of the volcano with a large black barrier, in a bid to deter photo-hungry tourists.