On Thursday, the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, launched the urban plan for the city of Qiddiya and its brand, and explained that it will become the most prominent in the world in the field of entertainment, sports and culture, and that it is one of the pillars of “Vision 2030.”
The launch of the project came despite Riyadh’s announcement on Thursday that it would postpone some Vision 2030 projects to avoid pressures related to inflation and supply problems.
Saudi recognition for the first time regarding some “Vision 2030” projects
Saudi Arabia has delayed some of its projects that it launched within “Vision 2030” as part of its economic transformation plan, “in Riyadh’s first acknowledgment of changing the timetable to achieve the goals of the multi-trillion-dollar program,” according to Bloomberg.
What is the city of Qiddiya? where is it? Who will finance this huge project? How does the Kingdom intend to benefit from it to support its tourism sector?
An entertainment capital on the doorstep of Riyadh
He says Official Website According to the Kingdom’s “Vision 2030”, Qiddiya will be the future capital of entertainment, sports and culture in the Kingdom, and will include a variety of parks, arts centres, sports stadiums and mega projects being developed, “providing unique and exciting opportunities for visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom.”
Qiddiya is located in the middle of the Tuwaiq Mountains, 40 minutes from the center of Riyadh. It can be reached via the highway, and the paved highways will be part of future public transportation plans.
And according to Project introductory website Online, the city will host more than 600,000 people, and will host millions of visitors and seekers of exciting experiences, annually.
The preparation and management of this massive project was entrusted to Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), the parent brand that includes Qiddiya City.
Qiddiya Investment Company is supported by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
Qiddiya Investment Company is responsible for supervising, developing and implementing the project, and for its financial returns from all its products.
Qiddiya Investment Company was officially registered with the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment in April 2017 as a closed joint stock company.
Qiddiya Investment Company is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), with a 100% stake in its shares, which is also its main financier.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, chairs the Board of Directors of Qiddiya Investment Company.
In 2018, King Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the Qiddiya project, as a global center for entertainment, sports and culture, and construction began the following year to establish international sports stadiums, concert theatres, luxury entertainment venues, sports and arts academies, racing tracks, places to host excitement and adventure events, and game cities. Suitable for all family members, in addition to the famous “Six Flags” park, which includes the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, according to the same website.
On Saturday evening, King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz, laid the foundation stone for the Qiddiya Entertainment City project, southwest of the capital, Riyadh, in preparation for the start of infrastructure work, the first phase of which is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Most prominent establishments
Medina will cover approximately 360 square kilometers, and it takes about 25 minutes to travel by car, passing through the two largest entertainment facilities in the country.
The city will include parks, stadiums to host sports competitions, a safari area, luxury hotels, restaurants, commercial complexes, and architectural and residential buildings.
Riyadh is counting on this park to be the first destination of its kind in the region.
The park will include 6 areas that include 28 rides and attractions, including the longest, highest and fastest roller coaster in the world, in addition to the falcon ride, which distinguishes this park from others.
Currently, the most important rides are being installed at “6 Flags Qiddiya”, including the coaster that is unique to Qiddiya, “Falcon’s Journey”, the highest, longest and fastest roller coaster in the world, according to the Qiddiya website.
59 percent of the work has been completed, according to the project website.
It is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and the largest in area in the region. It will include 8 areas, including 81 luxury “cottages,” and the first surfing school capable of generating artificial waves for surfing enthusiasts of all levels.
AndWork is moving at a fast pace On the water park project, 61% of the total project has been completed.
Most of the equipment and toys have arrived at the site, and some are under installation.
In addition to these two giant facilities, there are several other entertainment facilities, as the city will also have 25 entertainment areas for all ages, as the Saudi authorities expect Qiddiya to attract about 48 million visitors annually.
The completion rate of the golf courses has reached one hundred percent, according to the project website.
The golf courses cover an area of 1.6 million square meters, which is equivalent to the area of 215 football fields.
Importance and objectives
Qiddiya is one of the largest entertainment and cultural projects in the world, and its importance, according to the Saudi Ministry of Information, lies in meeting the entertainment, cultural and social desires and needs of the future generation, supporting tourism, attracting investments, diversifying sources of income, and providing jobs.
It is noteworthy that when the Kingdom launched this huge project five years ago, the former CEO of Disney and the Florida East Coast Coastal Industries Company, Michael Renninger, was appointed CEO of the Qiddiya Company.
Renninger said in previous statements (at the launch in 2018) that the returns will not be limited to the entertainment sector only, but will also include projects that will develop the capabilities of Saudi youth and their sports, artistic and cultural skills.
Through this huge project, Saudi Arabia aims to become the capital of entertainment, sports and culture, not only in the Kingdom but in the whole world, ensuring its presence among the best international tourist destinations.
It also aims to “enable Saudi youth to achieve their ambitions and enjoy experiences that enrich their experiences,” according to the Vision 2030 website, which also indicated that among the goals is “creating jobs in promising sectors to reach a more prosperous and vibrant society, and attracting the interest of global markets toward the Kingdom.”
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