Saudi Arabia plans to develop tourism resorts on about 50 islands off the kingdom's Red Sea coast, with the backing of its Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to a statement carried by state news agency SPA on Tuesday.
The Red Sea Project, to be built between the cities of Amlaj and Al-Jawh, will feature a nature reserve, diving on coral reefs and heritage sites.
The project will break ground in the third quarter of 2019, with the first phase completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The PIF will make initial investments in the project and seek partnerships with international investors and hoteliers, the statement said, without elaborating on the cost of the project.
The fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is believed to have assets totaling about $183 billion and is set to receive a cash infusion next year after the sale of shares in state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
The crown prince has said more than half of the proceeds from that sale will be reinvested domestically to develop promising Saudi non-oil sectors.