Saudi King sets foundation stone for Qiddiya entertainment city
Project CEO Michael Reininger said the development would feature facilities such as amusement parks, game cities, racing fields, and safaris
A ceremony was held to lay the foundation stone for Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya entertainment city.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, patronised the project's foundation ceremony on 28 April, 2018.
Michael Reininger, chief executive officer (CEO) of the project, said the development would feature facilities such as amusement parks, game cities, racing fields, and safaris.
Additional planned facilities include toy cities, recreation centers and sports facilities, training academies, desert and asphalt tracks for motor sports enthusiasts, water and snow recreation activities, outdoor adventure spaces, and safari and nature experiences, as well as historical, cultural and scientific activities.
Qiddiya will also include shopping centres, restaurants, cafés, hotels, and real estate projects.
The development will be based on five major themes, including parks and attractions, mobility, nature and the environment, sports, and health, culture, arts, and education.
Al-Qiddayah will target the seven million people that are based 40km from the project site, creating an "untapped market" for international investors.
The 334km2 project – to be built 40km from capital city, Riyadh – is 100 times the size of Central Park, and will attract 17 million visitors by 2030, the CEO said.
He continued: "By providing activities and events that match the expectations and imagination of our visitors, Qiddiya will succeed in recovering some of the annual Saudi spending on tourism and leisure activities outside the kingdom, amounting to about $30bn (SAR112.5bn), which will be used to stimulate the local economy and the development of a large number of new projects.
"These efforts will also result in job opportunities for Saudis in many innovative areas of work. By 2030, we expect to provide 57,000 new jobs for Saudi nationals in this growing sector. "
Qiddiya is one of three major projects that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is developing under the leadership of its chairman, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, SPA reported.