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Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya mega-project gets relaunch with emphasis on sport and tourism

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya mega-project gets relaunch with emphasis on sport and tourism
January 8, 2024

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, has revealed a relaunch and rebranding of the Qiddiya giga/mega-project with an emphasis on entertainment, sport and tourism.

Now being promoted as having the aim to be "largest tourism destination worldwide", will not only be home to 600,000 residents in 160,000 homes but will also feature a massive array of facilities.

These will include:

  • Multiple theme and water parks including a Six Flags theme park
  • A 40,000 capacity sports stadium - a multipurpose venue that will host games at the AFC 2027 Asian Cup
  • Formula 1 racetrack
  • 43 sports facilities
  • Esports arena district
  • World’s largest Olympic museum

In addition, the project, being built outside of the Saudi capital of Riyadh 15 hospitals and create more than 325,000 jobs.

One of the giga/mega-projects being developed under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 masterplan -described by Prince Mohammad as a “cornerstone of Vision 2030” - the project is part of an ambition to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from oil exports by the end of the decade.

Expected to attract 48 million visitors a year - 1.8 million of those will be visiting purely to watch football matches - Qiddiya says its main waterpark is 61% built, the Six Flags is 59% complete, and all its golf courses have been ‘shaped’ over land equal in size to 215 football fields.

However, based on the original plans, Qiddiya is well behind schedule. The project was first unveiled back in 2018, with its first phase expected to be done by 2022 and the Six Flags park up and running by 2023.

Qiddiya is located 40 minutes from Riyadh centre and overlooking the cliffs of the Tuwaiq mountains.

Images: Concept for Qiddiya's sports precinct (top) and the 40,000-capacity Qiddiya Stadium that will host games at the AFC 2027 Asian Cup (below). Credit: QIC.

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