Left Photo (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
National Geographic Encounter announces its expansion with KBW Ventures and its partner, the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia to develop and launch up to 10 new locations with Ocean Odyssey, an entertaining and immersive walk-through adventure across the ocean from the South Pacific to the coast of California, throughout the region on an unprecedented scale. The first of several locations in Saudi Arabia will be situated in the city of Riyadh starting in 2019.
Coming off the heels of the recent successful opening of National Geographic Encounter’s flagship location in New York City’s Times Square, SPE Partners, creators and developers of Encounter, and its partner the Peterson Companies will once again engage a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group, Pixomondo which is the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones,” and GRAMMY® Award-winning composer David Kahne, to produce this experience that is changing the landscape of entertainment and cinema. Through groundbreaking technology and stunning photo-realistic animation, guests are transported to extraordinary underwater destinations and gain access to rarely witnessed moments in nature.
“We are excited to bring this iconic brand and immersive experience into Saudi Arabia and provide premium entertainment in our country,” said Faisal Baraft, CEO of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia.
“Our goal at SPE and Peterson is to expand and revolutionize entertainment and storytelling, while delivering world-class guest experiences,” said Alexander Svezia, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SPE Partners. “We aim to combine the power of technology with the awe of entertainment to advance science and conservation, and KBW shares that vision. The General Entertainment Authority’s mission, to create a vibrant society and provide exciting entertainment and tailored experiences in Saudi Arabia, aligns perfectly. We are excited to bring ‘entertainment with purpose’ to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“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. 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,” said Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures.
National Geographic Encounter consulted with dozens of technologists and scientists to create a new kind of immersive experience that guests can walk through to share stunning ocean encounters with friends and family. Blockbuster new science – some of it not even published yet – was used in its creation. National Geographic Encounter is also working with marine biologist, professor and National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber, Chief Science Advisor to the experience and who specializes in bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine animals.