Tourism projects in the GCC continue to prove how these states are defying all odds and gaining momentum in the modern world. Across all six of the states, tourism projects of massive proportions are spreading from coast to coast.
While it has been difficult to narrow the list down to only six, here are a few of the major tourism projects you can expect to visit soon in the GCC.
1. The Avenues, Bahrain
Currently, under construction in Manama, the Avenues is a BD45 million ($93 million) waterfront shopping mall. The project spans across 273,000 square meters along 1.5 km of the corniche.
While development of this mega project began in September 2014, it is due for completion this upcoming February. King Faisal Corniche Development Company is developing the Avenues.
The mall will feature playgrounds, outdoor jogging tracks, and a gym. As well as waterfront restaurants, cafes, arcades, a souq, and cinemas. It will also boast 75,000 square meters of gardens, a 40-meter wide promenade, and public parks. The one-floor mall will also include a 1,400 vehicle parking area.
2. Kuwait Olympic Village
Valued at KD306 million ($1 billion), Kuwait Olympic Village will be awarding its construction contract during the second quarter of 2017. Construction is expected to start shortly after, with completion scheduled for late 2020.
The project will boast a 25,000-seat stadium, a swimming pool complex and a residential block for athletes. The stadium will cover an area of 2.67 million square feet and will be built in Jaber Al-Ahmed City.
Australian Meinhardt Engineering is responsible for lead consultancy, civil, structural, Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) engineering, architectural and landscaping services for the project. While Vietnam’s NKC Consultancy Co is sub-consultant who will design the foundations, superstructure, as well as the roofs’ steel structures.
3. Ras Al Hadd Eco-Resort, Sur, Oman
Ras Al Hadd eco-themed resort lies about 150 km from Muscat, in the city of Sur. Qatari Diar and the Omani Government are developing the project that has an area of 1.8 square meters. Phase one of the project will be complete by the end of 2018.
Once completed, the resort will hold 700 hotel rooms and 700 residential properties. As well as 23,000 sqm of market souq and retail areas, a dedicated center for wildlife preservation, an observation park set over an area of 10,000 sqm, and a specialized marine life park.
The project will also feature a heritage village to celebrate Oman’s rich culture and the rich marine life of Sur. Ras Al Hadd resort will give visitors a chance to witness the region’s wildlife within a sustainable and responsible environment.
4. Lusail City, Qatar
Lusail City, located 23 km north of Doha, has a total area of 38 square kilometers. It is expected to hold a population of 260,000 once completed. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Parson Corporation are developing the city.
The city will feature marinas, residential areas, island resorts, and commercial districts. As well as luxury shopping and leisure facilities, a golf course community, man-made islands and entertainment districts
It will also feature Lusail Stadium that will host the opening and final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Designed to resemble the sail of a traditional dhow, the stadium will hold over 80,000 people.
5. Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia
While the Riyadh Metro differs from the previous tourism projects, it is nonetheless just as important. It is a part of King Abdulaziz’s public transport project which includes plans for trains and buses.
Scheduled to run in 2018, the $22.5 billion metro project will create 6 main metro lines passing through the capital city of Riyadh. With 85 stations stretching across 176 kilometers, the city will be accessible from all directions.
The driver-less trains are expected to transport 3.6 million passengers a day when fully operational. This transport system will prove efficient not only for city locals but also for tourists who will find it an easier way to travel throughout the city.
6. Bluewaters Island, Dubai, UAE
Dubai is famous for its never-ending tourism projects, one of which is the Bluewaters Island which lies 500 meters off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline. Unveiled in February 2013, the development is currently under construction.
The island will cost DH6 billion ($1.6 billion) and will include entertainment, hospitality, residential, and retail zones. Bluewaters Island will attract over three million visitors every year.
It will also feature the DH1 billion Dubai Eye, a 210-meter tall Ferris wheel. Dubai Eye is set to become the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. The Eye will carry 1,400 passengers in 48 capsules and will offer views to Dubai Marina, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Khalifah.