THE RIG’s master plan: Offshore oil platform-style ‘extreme’ adventure hub doubles in size
The developer of THE RIG, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Park Development Company (OPDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has unveiled a new master plan, setting forth its ambitious goals and vision for this adventure tourism project, which will be built in the Arabian Gulf. This undertaking is set to redefine the water sports and tourism landscape while paying homage to the legacy of the country’s rich oil and gas heritage.
Saudi Arabia’s THE RIG is a tourism project – inspired by offshore oil platforms – which was announced in October 2021 by the country’s Public Investment Fund. This entertainment project was originally expected to span an area of more than 150,000 square meters. However, the size of the “extreme park, an entirely new playground of adventure,” as described by the OPDC, has now doubled to a gross floor area of over 300,000 square meters.
While seeking to attract over 900,000 annual visitors by 2032, the project will be located 40 km from the coastline, near Al Juraid Island and the Berri oil field in the Arabian Gulf. THE RIG will come with a lot of bells and whistles in a bid to appeal to a wide range of domestic, regional, and international audiences, not only adrenaline seekers and explorers but also balanced holidaymakers and relaxation seekers. The rig-style adventure hub will provide a broad array of hospitality, leisure, entertainment, and accommodation options.
Furthermore, the project’s range of touristic attractions will feature three hotels totaling 800 rooms, along with 11 restaurants, an extreme sports and adventure park, a world-class marina, and helipads. Visitors will be able to arrive at THE RIG using one of two onshore terminals located in Dammam City and Jubail Industrial City via unique means of transportation from fast ferries to helicopters and seaplanes.
“Offshore platforms were created for discovery. THE RIG takes that legacy to the next level. This is the ultimate living laboratory for pioneering new thrills, extreme sports and adventure. Climb aboard and experience the future of adventure,” highlighted the OPDC.
THE RIG will whisk visitors off on daring water adventures above and below the sea with a large variety of activities, encompassing a diving center, an amusement park, a splash park, an E-sports center, an immersive theater, and a multipurpose arena. With over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and a passion for the future of adventure tourism, the OPDC’s CEO, Raed N. Bakhrji, is in charge of directing and overseeing the development of the project.
The company emphasizes that THE RIG creates “an exceptional and unique experience,” making it “a must-visit destination.” This offshore rig-style extreme park project falls in line with PIF’s strategy and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives of contributing to the growth of the tourism sector, directly and indirectly boosting employment opportunities, and diversifying the economy. THE RIG will consist of decommissioned and newly built platforms, whose concept and model are inspired by offshore oil platforms.
The mission of the project, which is deemed to be “a world-first adventure tourism destination” and “one-of-a-kind hospitality and adventure experience,” is to build “sustainable” touristic destinations on oil platforms in the middle of the sea, “mixing warm hospitality and extreme adventures offering an unprecedented experience for our guests from around the world,” underlined THE RIG’s developer.
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