Construction at Saudi entertainment megaproject Qiddiya to begin this year

The project aims to improve the quality of local life not only through entertainment, but also by providing around 57,000 jobs for citizens. (SPA file photo)
Updated 13 January 2019
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Construction at Saudi entertainment megaproject Qiddiya to begin this year

  • The megaproject is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city

RIYADH: Construction on an up-and-coming recreational megaproject in Riyadh will begin this year, according to Mike Reininger, CEO of the Qiddiya project.
“2019 will see Qiddiya move from the planning and design phase to the construction phase,” Reininger told Arab News.
Qiddiya, one of the three megaprojects, besides the Neom smart-city and the Red Sea Project launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will be located about 40 kilometers from the city center.
A company tweet read: “We are a step closer to building Saudi Arabia’s first entertainment and sports city.”
Upon completion, the prominent landmark is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city.
The project targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination that embodies the Saudi identity. It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km. Investors hope the project will attract high numbers of international visitors. “We will disclose more information on the construction timeline in due course,” said Reininger. Developing the entertainment sector by creating high-quality domestic and international investments within the Kingdom is one of the main goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. These projects will have a huge positive impact on the country’s economy and quality of life. The youth demographic will be the main contributor to Qiddiya’s success since two-thirds of the Saudi population is under the age of 35. Therefore, the project aims to satisfy the recreational, social and cultural needs of the country’s current and future generations. This project will also contribute to the real estate development of the area, offering 4,000 residential units by 2025 and 11,000 by 2030. It aims to attract residents who want to buy second homes at Qiddiya for weekends and vacations.
Saudis spend $30 billion on tourism abroad every year. By providing new entertainment options for citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, this project aims to redirect some of the overseas tourism spending back into the Kingdom.
This project will offer people opportunities to explore and experience without the need to travel to other countries. This supports Vision 2030’s objective to increase spending within the Kingdom on culture and entertainment activities, from about 3 percent of household income to 6 percent.
By 2030, the number of annual visitors to Qiddiya is expected to reach 17 million in the entertainment sector, 12 million in the shopping sector and 2 million in the hospitality sector.
The project aims to improve the quality of local life not only through entertainment, but also by providing around 57,000 jobs for citizens and opening new opportunities for the private sector in various industries. It will also serve the Kingdom’s goal of elevating Riyadh to become one of the world’s top 100 cities to live in.
Qiddiya’s facilities will enable citizens and residents to engage in a wide variety of sports, falling within Vision 2030’s theme of having a healthy society and increasing the ratio of individuals exercising at least once a week from 13 percent of the population to 40 percent.
The first phase of the project will officially open in 2022, with its final phase ending in 2035.

 

 

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Saudi efforts to promote tolerance, moderation lauded

Updated 23 July 2019
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Saudi efforts to promote tolerance, moderation lauded

RIYADH: The rector of the Islamic University of Brussels hailed Saudi efforts to promote moderate Islam, reject extremism, fight against terrorism, serve the religion and its followers, and respond to aberrant ideologies that have harmed the Muslim world.

Dr. Mustafa Khader Donmez also praised the programs carried out by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

“The Kingdom has established specialized scientific, educational and media institutions, called for the unity of the Islamic nation, and cooperated with all that strengthens the nation’s unity and preserves its security,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia has been holding conferences inside and outside the Kingdom, to which it invited scholars and specialists, in cooperation with regional and international bodies to promote Islamic tolerance and address the causes of extremism and terrorism.”

Donmez said the Kingdom has invited Islamic institutions and international bodies to implement programs and events that fight extremism and condemn terrorism.

“The Kingdom is keen to promote international peace and communication between cultures and the followers of different religions through calling for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, a domain in which the Kingdom has been a pioneer,” he added.

Saudi Arabia “has taken the lead in spending for this purpose as it is in line with its high status on the Islamic and international levels,” he said. SPA Riyadh