Saudi Arabia’s mega entertainment project Qiddiya reveals master plan

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Time: June 26, 2019  

The 334-square-kilometer site envisions development covering only 30 percent of the land, leaving the majority of the site dedicated to conservation. (Supplied photo)
  • Will ‘unlock access to experiences in new, culturally relevant way’

RIYADH: The Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC) has unveiled the much-anticipated master plan for Qiddiya, the entertainment city being constructed on the doorstep of Riyadh.

The announcement on Wednesday comes after an extensive design process, and revealed a meticulous plan that complements the epic natural landscape of the region, and creates a vast pedestrian-oriented district.

“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, CEO of QIC.

The master plan for the project, 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.

“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 development nodes, each with a unique purpose.

Resort Core

The “Resort Core” represents the heart of Qiddiya, where four gated-attractions surround a central specialty retail, dining and entertainment district along with a portfolio of distinctive resort hotels.

Adjacent to this district is a major outdoor entertainment venue, capable of hosting events of 5,000 to 40,000 visitors in a park-like setting, and punctuated with active skating and skiing facilities.

The 2022 opening phase features “Six Flags Qiddiya,” a family-oriented park filled with rides and attractions distributed throughout six themed areas.

A second feature park is a water-oriented sports and entertainment attraction, which includes an integrated resort hotel.

Speed Park

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 park includes tracks, showrooms, retail areas, a driver’s club and a luxury hotel within its gates.

City Center

The City Center is a mixed-use village dedicated to sports and the arts. It is home to a collection of 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 activities and events.

Art and entertainment creates a buzz throughout the city at the 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 private school, a sports medicine hospital, and beautiful private villas along a path on the Cliff’s Edge area complete the composition.

Eco Core

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.

A residential neighborhood sits near the center, 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, spa and equestrian facilities.

This article was first published in Arab News

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