Qiddiya Reveals First Look at Saudi ‘Capital of Entertainment, Sports and Arts’

Wednesday, 26 June, 2019 - 11:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

The Qiddiya Investment Company has unveiled the much-anticipated Master Plan for Qiddiya, the “Giga-Project” being constructed on the doorstep of Riyadh that will deliver on many of the goals of the Vision 2030. Qiddiya is set to become the Kingdom’s “Capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts”, with facilities and experiences that will bring together new opportunities and exposure at a scale and format never before seen.

By bringing together the elements for an active, healthy and ambitious lifestyle, Qiddiya will generate enormous economic opportunities, and thousands of new jobs that will prompt the development of new sectors, contributing to a diversified and prosperous economy.

“The people of Saudi Arabia share the universal desire for enriching experiences, and our plan allows Qiddiya to unlock access to these experiences in a new and culturally relevant way, encouraging personal and professional pursuits that foster enrichment,” said Michael Reininger, Chief Executive Officer of Qiddiya Investment Company.

The Master Plan, created in conjunction with Bjarke Ingles Group, a Denmark-based company, was constructed with careful consideration to the natural patterns that have been etched on the site throughout history, giving rise to a green-belt network carrying visitors throughout the property on roads, bike paths and walkways built within an enhanced landscape environment.

Located just 45 km from Riyadh, the 334 square kilometer site envisions development covering only 30 percent of the land leaving the majority of the majestic site dedicated for natural conservation.

“This project sets a new global standard for the seamless integration of visitor-focused experiences and an innovative mix of program pieces, delivering an unparalleled entertainment destination,” said Bob Ward, Chairman of the Qiddiya Advisory Board.

The site is organized around five primary attractions.

The Resort Core represents the heart of Qiddiya, where four gated-attractions surround a central specialty retail, dining, resort hotel and entertainment district. Adjacent to this 15-hectare lies is a major outdoor entertainment venue that can host events of a capacity of 5,000 to 40,000 visitors.

The 2022 opening phase features Six Flags Qiddiya, a family-oriented park filled with rides and attractions distributed throughout six themed lands. A second feature park is a water-oriented sports and entertainment attraction, which includes an integrated resort hotel.

The third feature is the “Speed Park” which brings together events and experiences from the world of motor sports in a venue that places equal emphasis on spectator and driver. The Speed Park includes tracks, showrooms, retail, a driver’s club and a luxury hotel within its gates.

Overlooking the Resort Core from its perch 200m above on the edge of the Tuwaiq escarpment, the City Center is a mixed-use village dedicated to sports and the arts. Coupled to the entertainment core below by a funicular transportation system, residential, retail and workplace environments are organized around two intersecting pedestrian circulation spines linking a portfolio of feature facilities.

The City Center is home to a collection of sports venues including a 20,000 seat cliff-top stadium, an 18,000 seat multi-purpose indoor arena, an aquatic center and a sports hub capable of hosting a cross-section of individual sports activities and events.

Arts and entertainment create a buzz throughout the city as they emerge from an innovative arts center, a signature 2,000 seat performing arts theater and a premier multiplex cinema that dot the central walkways as primary destinations.

A creative campus offers workspace, media production and education facilities. A grand mosque anchors one end of the city with a place for worship and community gathering. A private school, a sports medicine hospital, and beautiful private villas along a biking/walking path on the Cliff’s Edge complete the composition.

To the northwest of the Resort Core sits the Eco Core designed around a series of nature and wildlife encounters, an ecologically-sensitive golf course, outdoor sporting adventures and several unique hospitality offerings that take advantage of the picturesque desert environment.

The Motion Core, to the southeast of the Resort Core, will be home to events, experiences, residential and hospitality offerings that are driven by the science and technology of people in motion.

Along with a Race Resort, where homes and club facilities provide access to a beautiful and challenging 15 km performance driving course, facilities for both on-road and off-road driving experiences, driver education and destination motor sports events will be constructed within a landscape surrounded by a mountain side backdrop.

A Golf and Residential Neighborhood sits near the center of the property where panoramic vistas of the project are available from an array of residential and resort offerings that include a championship 18-hole golf course and club house facilities, a luxurious resort hotel and spa and equestrian facilities—all accessed from villas, townhomes and private retreats.

A range of additional retail, residential, community services and commercial support facilities are distributed throughout the property for ease of access and utility that support the modern lifestyle Qiddiya is designed to deliver.

Qiddiya brings together an expansive range of attractions and opportunities in a singular and easily accessible destination, delivered to “best-in-class” standards and allows Saudis to enjoy the entertainment and professional experiences that inspire them without having to leave the Kingdom to fulfill their ambitions.

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