By Innovation-sa on May 1, 2018 in News

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman officially launched Qiddiya on Saturday in a glittering ceremony in the presence of Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund, as well as several princes, ministers and a distinguished audience of 300 dignitaries from around the world.

Qiddiya project, the Kingdom’s first entertainment, sports and the cultural destination is set to open in 2022. Located 40 km away from the heart of Riyadh, Qiddiya will span over an area of 334 square kilometers making it almost triple the size of Disney World in Florida.

The highlights of Qiddiya will be the Six Flags theme parks, motorsports, vacation homes as well as arts and cultural events. The new entertainment hub is expected to attract more than 17 million visitors by 2030.

Qiddiya CEO Michael Reininger invited investors, creators, and operators from around the world to explore what a one-of-a-kind project like Qiddya has to offer. “We will seek the best to help us, as we invent a new entertainment experience for all residents and visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Reininger also noted that Qiddiya already has some 50 direct employers and hundreds of local suppliers and global advisors and the number is expected to reach 55,000 by 2022.

Qiddiya is one among the three major initiatives announced by PIF recently, the others being NEOM – a $500 mega investment and business special zone – and a Red Sea project, which includes a nature reserve, coral reef diving and heritage sites on around 50 islands.

Economically, Qiddiya is one of the many measures taken by the Kingdom to diversify the Kingdom’s oil-dependent economy to cultural, entertainment and hospitality industries. Meanwhile, Qiddiya will also redirect billions of riyals spent every year by Saudis on foreign tourism back to the Kingdom by creating top-notch entertainment options for them within their country.