Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s Future Disruptive Entertainment, Sports & Arts Giga-Project
As well as a record-breaking Six Flags theme park, the sprawling destination set to capture the world’s imagination will host a Formula 1 racing track, sports stadiums and a plethora of cultural, creative and artistic activities.
Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya is set to be a regional and global hub of entertainment, culture and sport. The vast, fully integrated destination is another giga-project, just like NEOM, Amaala and The Red Sea Project that is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Spanning 367 km2 (with a 223 km2 planned developed area), Qiddiya, which is located about 40 minutes from Riyadh, aims to offer one-of-a-kind elevated, immersive and fun experiences. Spread over a lower plateau and on top of a majestic cliff face, the unique project will be home to hundreds of recreational and educational facilities designed around five sections: Parks & Attractions, Sports & Wellness, Motion & Mobility, Nature & Environment and Arts & Culture.
The city is to provide families a way to enjoy quality time together, subsequently bringing more moments of happiness into their lives The large young population in Saudi Arabia will particularly benefit as Qiddiya’s wide range of entertainment will be a way for them to expend all that high-energy.
“Entertainment is something that has grown in terms of importance everywhere. We have this growing realisation in the world that time passes very fast and people need to enjoy time together, and do things together — not just work, go to bed and go back to work,” Phillipe Gas, the CEO of the Qiddiya Investment Company, told sister organisation Asharq News.
Of course, as well as the wellness aspect, the destination will have a direct contribution to the creation of jobs, with tens of thousands of people primed to start working when the gates open. In addition to unlocking new professional pathways, Qiddiya will boost the development of creative industries.
Construction on the entertainment mega-project started in 2019 and the first phase, which involves over 45 ventures, is due to be delivered in 2023. Work is being done is such a way that it complements and enhances the amazing natural landscape of the epic site. Sustainability and a wish to minimise Qiddiya’s environmental impact are also major factors in the development of the project. A transport network that allows guests to easily move around from attraction to attraction and the hotels of different levels, soaking up the atmosphere, is a highlight of the master plan too.
Here’s what guests can look forward to:
Parks & Attractions
The icing on the cake in this division must be Six Flags Qiddiya, which will open its doors in 2023. Described as the “most unique” Six Flags ever built, it boasts 12 record-breaking attractions, the world’s longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster and the world’s tallest drop-tower ride. In addition, there are other theme parks, including a water theme park, and retail and dining options.
Sports & Wellness
Qiddiya's outstanding sports and training facilities, are for everyone, from amateurs to professionals. Whether it’s the stadium, multi-sports hub, two golf courses or aquatic centre, the facilities will be able to host major international and local sporting competitions. The range of sporting disciplines and wellness opportunities also includes a kids’ sports centre and a female sports centre.
Motion & Mobility
The facilities here will provide an outlet for those who like to live life in the fast lane. A high spot of the variety of adrenaline-fueled driving experiences is the FIA Grade 1 track capable of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix. Qiddiya will also be home to multi-use tracks, karting and off-road facilities, a motor tech park, a speed park and spectator services.
Arts & Culture
This section is where artists can perform and train, plus it extends an extraordinary variety of performing and visual arts, exhibitions, programmes and educational opportunities. The cutting-edge facilities include an art complex, a performing arts centre and a multiplex cinema. Courtyards and plazas and festival grounds are also part of the plan.
Nature & Environment
Guests will have the opportunity to discover the great outdoors, allowing them to take in the natural beauty of the Kingdom while committing to the sustainability of the desert ecosystem. As well as scenic and natural experiences that celebrate nature, there are animal encounters, adventures and exploration galore and a luxury tent resort.