Qiddiya

Al-Qiddiya
ProductsEntertainment, tourism
LocationRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
OwnerPublic Investment Fund
Established2018
Websitewww.qiddiya.com

Qiddiya (Arabic: القِدِّية, romanizedal-qiddiyya / al-giddiyya, pronounced [ə- alɡɪdːijːa]) is an entertainment megaproject to be established in Riyadh.[1] Construction started in the beginning of 2019.[1] The project is one of the tourism megaprojects to be established in Saudi Arabia under the auspices of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the income resources of the country and alleviate its reliance on oil.[2] On 26 June 2019, the master plan for Qiddiya was revealed, composed of five primary projects. These projects include resorts, parks, and a city center. Phase one, slated to be completed in 2023, will feature "Six Flags Qiddiya" as a family attraction.[3]

The master plan is to create a project that overwhelms visitors with a variety of activities. Such designed experiences are planned to be provided in a way that takes in consideration the cultural, natural and professional aspects. Thus, the natural pattern of the site has been taken into consideration. By doing so, the proposed design will take visitors through a green belt network.[4]

Etymology

Qiddiya is named after a region which forms a slit at Jabal Tuwaiq to establish a hajj road between Al-Yamama and Hejaz.[5]

The stated main idea behind the project is to establish a healthy, happy and engaging lifestyle place that is full of different opportunities and to encourage young ambitious Saudis who look forward to creating a prosperous Saudi Arabia.[6]

Location

Qiddiyah City or Qiddiyah project, which is supported by The Public Investment Fund (PIF),[7] will be located 40 km away from Riyadh's city center.[2] It will have a number of recreation facilities including, amusement parks, sport areas, car and bike riding paths, water parks, natural sceneries and cultural activities.[2]

The project will provide jobs to many Saudi men and women as it will be capable to host global sport competitions and a wide range of activities.[8]

By 2030 the project is expected to be the largest tourism destination worldwide,[9] with a total area of 334 km².[10]

Phase One

The first phase of the project is planned to be completed by 2023. Upon the completion of this phase, 45 individual projects are to be completed. Moreover, 300 recreative, hospitality, leisure and sports will be launched.[6]

Upon its establishment, Qiddiya need around 17,000 people to be run. Therefore, in order to hire qualified employees, a number of scholarships and training courses are being held. Thus, a partnership agreement was conducted between Qiddiya project and the University of Central Florida to train young Saudis on hospitality, tourism and sports management. Additionally, 60 scholarships have been opened to young Saudis in related fields.[6]

Activities

Over 300 activities will be allowed in the project, including grassroots sports,[11] water activities, winter activities, safaris.[12]

Qiddiya circuit

A motor racing circuit has been built in Qiddiya with a FIA Grade 1 standard with the expectation of holding a Formula One race or MotoGP race, possibly as soon as 2023.[13] However, Saudi Arabia was scheduled to host the Formula One race for the first time in Jeddah by the end of December 2021, before the completion of Qiddiya. The kingdom allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to Formula 1, in order to win the hosting rights. The announcement, although not officially confirmed by F1, received criticism from human rights organizations for attempting to sportswash its image.[14] In November of 2020, the Formula One Group announced that a grand prix would be held at the circuit in 2023.[15]

Saudi Vision 2030

The project comes to fulfill the Saudi vision to increase local spending.[9] It is expected that such a project will contribute in returning 30 billion dollars spent abroad by Saudis. Moreover, it is expected that by 2030 the total number of annual visitors will reach 17 million.[16]

Landmarks

The project will host a number of world-record hit facilities including:

  1. The fastest, tallest, and longest roller coaster.
  2. The tallest drop-tower ride.[17]
  3. The largest Six Flags theme park.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Construction at Saudi entertainment megaproject Qiddiya to begin this year". Arab News. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Qiddiya Project, Red Sea Project, can Saudi Arabia turn into a tourist destination?". Weetas Real Estate Blog, Market Stats, Real Estate Analysis. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia's Six Flags Qiddiya to feature world's fastest roller coaster". Arabian Business. 26 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Saudi Arabia's mega entertainment project Qiddiya reveals master plan". Arab News. 2019-06-26. Retrieved 2019-07-01.
  5. ^ "المشروع الترفيهي العالمي.. ما معنى "القدية"؟". Al Arabiya (in Arabic). 29 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Developers reveal more details about Qiddiya, the Saudi entertainment supercity". Arab News. 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  7. ^ "Qiddiya to create a self-sustaining ecosystem". Saudigazette. 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  8. ^ "Al-Qiddiya: A futuristic mega city". Saudigazette. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  9. ^ a b "Construction at Saudi entertainment megaproject Qiddiya to begin this year". Arab News. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  10. ^ "MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program". Arab News. 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  11. ^ "Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia's Future Entertainment, Sport and Cultural Destination, Announces a Global Advisory Board | Qiddiya". www.qiddiya.com. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  12. ^ "Al-Qiddiya: A futuristic mega city". Saudigazette. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  13. ^ Andrew Benson (17 January 2020). "Formula 1: Saudi Arabia unveils plans for race in 2023". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  14. ^ "F1 risks human rights wrath over first Saudi Arabian race". The Times. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  15. ^ "F1 adds Saudi Arabian Grand Prix night race to 2021 calendar | Formula 1®". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  16. ^ "Al-Qiddiya: A futuristic mega city". Saudigazette. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  17. ^ "Buckle up, the world's fastest roller coaster is coming to Saudi Arabia". Arab News. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  18. ^ "Largest Six Flags theme park in the world to open in Qiddiya". Arab News. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2019-08-28.

Coordinates: 24°35′N 46°19′E / 24.58°N 46.32°E / 24.58; 46.32

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