RIYADH: The Tuwaiq mountains provide the dramatic backdrop for a new giant digital display from the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).
Qiddiya, located 40 km west of Riyadh, is referred to as Saudi Arabia’s future “capital of entertainment, sports and the arts,” and QIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
QIC’s outdoor display, which uses 84 projectors, was showcased in a three-minute video that tells the evolution of the mountains from the ice age right through to the scheduled opening of the Qiddiya project in 2023.
“We received a great reaction when we first used projection to illustrate the potential of Qiddiya at our groundbreaking ceremony,” said Qiddiya CEO Michael Reininger.
“This inspired us to create an enhanced and sophisticated light show that uses the latest audio-visual technology that, once again, highlights how Qiddiya is set to become the Kingdom’s capital of entertainment, sports and the arts. The projection display will continue to illuminate the skies above Qiddiya and we hope to work with other Saudi entities to explore how best to use this valuable tool in the future for mutually beneficial purposes.”
The digital display was used at the closing ceremony for the 2020 Dakar Rally to see how it worked under real-event conditions and featured a 150-meter- high Qiddiya logo.
It was used to unveil the G20 logo in December last year, interspersed with images of the Saudi flag, profiles of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the chairman of the board of directors of Qiddiya.
The entire display covers approximately 32,000 square meters and, over the last four months, a team of more than 80 technicians have worked around the clock to install the technology.
Saudis spend $30 billion on tourism abroad every year. By providing new entertainment options for citizens and residents in the Kingdom, the Qiddiya project aims to redirect some of the overseas tourism spending back into Saudi Arabia.
This goal also supports the Vision 2030 objective to increase spending within the Kingdom on culture and entertainment activities, from about 3 percent of household income to 6 percent.