Saudi Arabia’s King Salman inaugurates Qiddiya Project

Apr 28, 2018 

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the Qiddiya Project which is set to be the kingdom’s newest entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

The project will be built in al-Qiddiya area, some 40 km west of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. Qiddiya will be the largest and most important tourist destination in the region, making Riyadh a tourist hotspot.

The ceremony of laying the foundation stone was attended by a host of local and international officials and a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.

Economic development

Speaking on the project, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said that “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only to the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities of the Saudi young people.”

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of Qiddiya Project under the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the wise leadership in the kingdom.

It also shows its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen in accordance with the sectors identified by the Kingdom Vision 2030, he added.

“About two-thirds of the kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $ 30 billion which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for the Saudi youths,” he added.

Project features

Some of the entertainment facilities at Qiddiya will include include training academies, desert and asphalt tracks for motor sports enthusiasts, water and snow activities, outdoor adventures, safaris and nature experiences.

Visitors can also expect historical, cultural and educational events. Other features will include commercial centers, restaurants, cafes, hotels, real estate project opportunities and services that meet the needs of all segments of society.

This article was first published in the Al Arabiya English

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of Qiddiya Project

Time: April 24, 2018

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will launch the construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh Saturday, authorities said, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the Kingdom seeks to diversity its oil-reliant economy.
The 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, would rival Walt Disney and include high-end theme parks, motor sport facilities and a safari park, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns,” project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.
Qiddiya chief executive Michael Reininger said he expects the project will draw foreign investors in entertainment and other sectors, but did not specify the total cost of construction.
Such projects are the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled liberal change agent who is the chief architect of the sweeping “Vision 2030” reform program.
Saudi Arabia has dazzled investors with several plans for hi-tech “giga projects,” funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund, but some skeptics question their viability in an era of cheap oil.
The Kingdom has unveiled blueprints to build NEOM, a mega project billed as a regional Silicon Valley, in addition to the Red Sea project, a reef-fringed resort destination — both worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Analysts say the projects could create funding pressures at a time when the government faces a yawning budget deficit and growth in the Kingdom’s non-oil economy is only slowly gathering pace.
The reform stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the Kingdom has been reeling from an oil slump since 2014.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.

This article was first published Arab News

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Saudi King Salman to patronize Qiddiya Project on April 25

SOURCE: Al Arabiya

23 April 2018

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will patronize on Wednesday the much-anticipated Qiddiya Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination being built in the kingdom.

The project will be built in al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.

The ceremony of laying the foundation stone will be attended by a host of local and international officials and a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of Qiddiya Project under the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the wise leadership in the Kingdom and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen in accordance with the sectors identified by the Kingdom Vision 2030.

“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $ 30 billion which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for the Saudi youths,” he added.

For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, commented that “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only to the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the Saudi young people”.

This article was first published by Al Arabiya English

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link Al Arabiya English  

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Qiddiya to fulfill long-held amusement park dream

SOURCE: Arab News

April 14, 2018

Back in the early 1990s, when I was residing in London, I got an invitation to the opening of Euro Disney outside Paris. When I got there, I was overwhelmed by the amount of entertainment and the exciting activities. I said to myself: “One day I hope to see this taking place in Saudi Arabia.” Now this dream will become a reality.

The 334-square-kilometer Qiddiya project is strategically located about 40 kilometers from the center of Riyadh, making it about an hour’s drive from King Khalid International Airport. It will be a world-class entertainment city incorporating theme parks, motorsport and other thrilling activities.

The project aims to turn Qiddiya into the Kingdom’s iconic entertainment destination. It will help in boosting the country’s economic diversification through attracting foreign investments and directing the Kingdom’s entertainment spending inside the country. In addition, the project will contribute to the creation of new jobs in the Saudi labor market.

Moreover, the project will include a real estate component, serving as vacation houses to attract residents to the area, including approximately 4,000 residential units to be completed by 2025, increasing to about 11,000 by 2030.

Since Qiddiya is located near the capital, I believe it will be the ideal place for companies and organizations to carry out their off-site business meetings, conferences, retreats, and workshops.

With the plan choosing Al-Qiddiya as a base to launch Richard Branson’s commercial Virgin Galactic flights to space, Al-Qiddiya not only will be a local and regional entertainment center, but a destination for international tourists.

Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini

The giga-project is expected to be completed over the course of five phases. It is currently in phase three, with the foundation stone expected to be laid by the end of June, while it is hoped the doors will open by October 2022.

Many Saudis visit neighboring countries for vacations and public holidays, but the Kingdom wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment.

The Public Investment Fund will play a key role in securing the necessary financing for the initial phases of the project. The PIF can leverage its portfolio companies to access a large number of potential investors and operators. Events such as the BMG Economic Forum will also aim to promote the project globally in order to reach international investors.

Last year, US amusement park company Six Flags’ Chief Executive Jim Reid-Anderson said the firm aimed to build three parks in Saudi Arabia, with each costing between $300 million and $500 million. An agreement between Six Flags and the PIF was officially signed last week to develop and design a new park within the Qiddiya project.

Also, because of the geography of the area, I hope the General Sports Authority will include a polo field in the development. This would go along with the creation of a Saudi Polo Federation, meaning I will have my dream to host a Polo Cup in Saudi Arabia.

With the plan choosing Al-Qiddiya as a base to launch Richard Branson’s commercial Virgin Galactic flights to space, Al-Qiddiya not only will be a local and regional entertainment center, but a destination for international tourists.

 

• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.