Luxury oasis draws elite Saudis locked in by pandemic

Well-heeled Saudis frolic in an artificial oasis built on salmon-coloured dunes, splashing the cash after a year-long pandemic lock-in that dovetails with efforts to discourage citizens from splurging overseas. Coronavirus hobbled Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost tourism and entertainment, new sectors central to a strategy to diversify the oil-reliant economy. But cushioning the blow is a lucrative market of Saudis forced to spend their money at home. The Riyadh Oasis – a high-end desert retreat with palm-fringed pools, pop-up restaurants and luxury tents – seeks to lure Saudi high-rollers barred…

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