Financial Foresight: The Breakdown of Saudi Arabia’s Investments

Al-Nassr President Musalli Al-Muammar and Cristiano Ronaldo | Source: ESPN

For the past few years, Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily in two certain industries: the sports and entertainment industries. It is believed that they are doing this to develop a more diversified economy within their country. Having a more diversified economy will allow the country to stimulate economic growth. Not only that, but Saudi Arabia will have international recognition, which will help them improve other countries’ perspectives on them. 

In the sports industry alone, they have invested several billion dollars and plan on making it a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, according to The Guardian, roughly $6.3B has been invested in the sports industry. This investment is more than four times higher than the investments made in the past six years. 

Some of the sports that Saudi Arabia has been investing in include soccer, golf, tennis, and boxing. Al Hilal, a soccer team, was even offering Kylian Mbappe enough money that only 5% of it would match a professional NBA player’s salary. Additionally, another soccer team known as Al Nassr paid Cristiano Ronaldo $200M for a year to play for two seasons. Not only that but Lionel Messi was offered $1.6B to play for Al Hilal for three years. 

The massive investment of Saudi Arabia in sports is so immense that it is even worth more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Montenegro. Now, let’s take a look at the investments in the entertainment industry, or at least the investments that they plan to make in the span of Saudi Arabia’s vision up to 2030.

Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision is to invest a whopping $64B into the entertainment industry alone. They believe that these investments will allow them to develop better PR (public relations). The Saudi government has created a fund that has been led by the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman. The fund’s primary goal is to support sports and entertainment projects.

One of the projects that they plan on working on in the entertainment sector is Qiddiya Entertainment City. Qiddiya is planned to be roughly three times as big as Disney World in Florida. There is also another project, which is building a park that is four times the size of the current Central Park in New York, currently known as King Salman Park.

Saudi Arabia’s massive investments in sports, highlighted by acquisitions like Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo, coupled with a $64 billion commitment to the entertainment sector, exemplify a strategic push for economic diversification and global recognition. These endeavors, beyond financial transactions, underscore the nation’s vision to reshape its international image and position itself as a key player in the global sports and entertainment landscape. Saudi Arabia’s substantial investments in the sports and entertainment industries are exemplified by their acquisitions of prominent footballers such as Mbappe and Ronaldo. Additionally, their significant commitment of $64 billion to the entertainment landscape shows the country’s dedication to reshaping its global image and positioning itself as a pivotal player in the worldwide sports and entertainment sectors.

About the Author

Poojak Patel
Poojak Patel is a staff writer of The Acronym for the 2023-2024 school year. He is a current sophomore who lives in hall 1504. Outside of writing articles for The Acronym, he can be found in his room completing assignments the day before they are due (he isn't always like that) or hanging out with his friends.

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