Saudi’s Qiddiya Giga-Project Adds Plans For Sci Fi-Looking Performing Arts Center

June 24, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The Saudi giga-project outside of Riyadh – called Qiddiya City – has now added a digital-heavy performing arts center to the list of ambitious and expensive projects at various stages of development.

Announced today, new of the center comes on the heels of several other entertainment, sporting and cultural attractions for the area – including the multi-sports Prince Mohammed bin Salman Stadium, a multi-use gaming and esports district, motorsport track, Dragon Ball theme park and the first water theme park of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

The arts center’s concepts drawings look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, perched like the sports stadium on a mountain plateau. Qiddiya City is 40 minutes outside of downtown Riyadh and will be connected by roads and Riyadh’s public transport network.

Funded by Qiddiya Investment Company, which is 100%-owned by the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, the center is expected to host about 260 events annually and attract more than 800,000 visitors each year.

There will be 3,000 seats spread across three theatres, with a 500-seater cantilevered amphitheater looking out over the city’s lower plateau. There is also a rooftop sky garden, art galleries and green spaces.

These things, including the stadium, are new or recent announcements, so it is a bit hard to say if they’ll get built and match up with the concept drawings. The Saudis have LOTS of money, but even its budgets are finite and depend on pesky things like global oil prices. The many-billion dollar building parallel skyscrapers development known as The Line was announced as extending for 170km (105 miles), and becoming home to nine million people. It now looks like it might involve just 2.4km by 2030. That alone is impressive, but a fraction the plan.

All of these projects are part of the Saudi Vision 230 plan to diversify and not bank all of its financial future on the finite resource of oil.

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