KSA's Entertainment Authority And KBW Ventures Bring Nat Geo's Ocean Odyssey To The Kingdom

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National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, an immersive entertainment experience that transports you underwater to the oceans from the South Pacific to the coast of California, is coming to the Middle East. Sealing a partnership with HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed's KBW Ventures and the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, Ocean Odyssey is all set to launch up to 10 new locations in Saudi Arabia, with the first of such experiences to be situated in the city of Riyadh starting in 2019.

National Geographic
KBW Ventures founder and CEO HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal

Fresh off its most recent successful launch in New York City’s iconic Times Square, National Geographic Encounter will join hands with SPE Partners, the creators and developers of Encounter, and the Peterson Companies, along with a global team of Academy, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artists to create this enthralling experience for Middle East audiences. According to a statement, the entertainment experience uses “groundbreaking technology and stunning photo-realistic animation,” to transport guests to underwater destinations and thus “gain access to rarely witnessed moments in nature.”

(L to R): Alexander Svezia, SPE Partners; Rosa Zeegers, National Geographic Partners; Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, KBW Ventures; William Pennell, SPE Partners; Christine Kurtz, SPE Partners. Image credit: Diane Bondareff/AP Images.

"When I first visited National Geographic Encounter and saw that the experience brings people around the globe into the natural world of wildlife, I knew that this was the future,” HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, founder and CEO, KBW Ventures, said in a statement. “We also believe in Encounter’s ‘entertainment with purpose’ ethos, especially with our current work with Future Oceans, an organization whose mission is to protect all marine wildlife,” he added. Faisal Baraft, CEO of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, also shared the sentiment, stating, “we are excited to bring this iconic brand and immersive experience into Saudi Arabia and provide premium entertainment in our country.”

Created with the inputs of technologists and scientists, National Geographic Encounter says it is working with marine biologist, professor and National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber to bring the underwater experience to the Middle East. Ocean Odyssey also helps support the National Geographic Society’s key exploration and conservative works around the globe, including the Pristine Seas Project. Visitors to the show get an opportunity to get up close with species including sea lions, sharks, a 50-foot Humpback whale, and others. The experience also includes an Exploration Hall session featuring tales from National Geographic photographers and explorers including Sylvia Earle, Bob Ballard and Enric Sala.

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