Saudi Arabia is planning to launch an enormous high-tech, family-friendly theme park that will feature a giant dinosaur, an Airbus A380 and the Batmobile, it was reported on Wednesday.
The government plans to invest up to $10bn in the project which will be called King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Kacree).
The site of the park in Mecca will be vast, with more than 12,000 buildings covering 700 acres (about 222 hectares), according to Saudi Gazette. It will feature a series of theme parks, a shopping mall, sports facilities and natural landscapes.
Kacree hopes to leverage Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy, solar and wind energy sectors to help deliver affordable electricity and reduce the need for Saudi oil.
Details of the park were unveiled by an ambitious energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
The plans include hiring 500,000 Saudi citizens to work at the park, providing free four-wheel drive vehicles to employees and universities, and increasing renewable energy in the kingdom to 25% of the electricity demand by 2035.
The park, in its early planning stages, is not expected to open until 2020. A spokesman for Kacree, Saeed al-Ameri, told Guardian US the project is an example of “developing a brighter future” for Saudi Arabia.
King Abdullah, the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who was just five months older than the current king, promised the country’s youth that schools and universities would increase the amount of maths and science education, to increase productivity and ensure the best universities were available to Saudis.
According to Saudi Gazette, staff at Kacree were not authorised to talk to reporters.
The Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, at the event, said the park would “surpass what anyone in the world has ever seen”.
“This park, and the space that we intend to create around it, reflects that we are committed to the future and to empowering Saudis with knowledge and opportunities to succeed,” he said.