Saudi Arabia is relaunching the privatization of its airports in an effort to diversify the Kingdom’s oil-dominated economy and secure investment as it seeks to triple annual visitor numbers by 2030.
Ownership of the 29 airports has already been moved to a new entity, Matarat, in order to prepare them for the process. An international investor roadshow could start in the next 12 to 18 months.
The Kingdom’s tourism push is part of a strategy announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reduce reliance on the world’s largest crude oil exports. As part of the plan, Saudi Arabia is also looking to launch a new international airline based in Riyadh, separate from the existing carrier Saudia, and owned by its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.