TEHRAN – Construction of a large roofed amusement park and recreational center has officially begun in southwestern Khuzestan province aiming to attract Iraqi tourists and travelers.

As the center is being built in Khorramshahr, which is near the Iraqi city of Basra, besides providing entertainment services to all residents of Arvand Free Zone and the neighboring cities, it could also become a tourist attraction and destination for Iraqi tourists and travelers, provincial tourism chief Sajjad Pakgohar said on Tuesday.

One of the basic needs of the people in the province and the city of Khorramshahr is having a recreational center and this shortage has always been felt in the region, he added.

Some 100 billion rials (about $2.3 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) has been allocated to the project, which is being implemented in collaboration with the private sector, the official added.

He also noted that the first phase of the project has generated 80 job opportunities directly and indirectly.

Some two to three million Iraqis visit Iran every year. Some two million Iraqi nationals visited Iran during the first seven months of the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), constituting Iran’s largest source of inbound passengers.