Saudi Arabia to invest in Russian tourism sector – head of Russia’s wealth fund

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Russia and Saudi Arabia are planning to ramp up mutual investments in tourism projects, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, told journalists Monday.

“Saudi investments into Russia, including those into tourism, are set to grow in the near future,” Dmitriev said during his visit to the kingdom.

“The Russian-Chinese-Saudi Fund will also make investments into tourism in Saudi Arabia with backing from the Saudi government,” he added.

According to Dmitriev, the Saudis are very interested in Russian visitors.

“Nearly six million tourists travel to Turkey annually, around three million visitors come to Egypt. We want more and more to come here [to Saudi Arabia],” he said.

Dmitriev stressed that Russia and Saudi Arabia are planning to develop cultural cooperation.

“We’d like most of our on-stage groups, including the Mariinsky Theatre, to visit Saudi Arabia more often,” he said. “The kingdom had been closed for international tourists for many years. Now it is opening an enormous potential for many countries, including Russia.”

On Sunday, Dmitriev attended a ceremony to launch tourism mega-projects in the ancient Saudi desert city of al-Ula. In the presence of several hundred international guests, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched such projects as a resort designed by a renowned French architect and a nature reserve, both called Sharaan.

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