Places built to accommodate international events and anticipate 10 million people per year
Riyadh: In an effort to introduce Saudi Arabia into the burgeoning professional esports scene, Qiddiya City has revealed plans for the first all-encompassing gaming and esports zone in history.
The state news agency SPA reported that the new district, located in the centre of Qiddiya City, will feature four esports stadiums built to hold major events and draw an estimated 10 million visitors a year.
The establishment of the Gaming and Esports District is an extension of the sector’s support, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shown through a ‘National Strategy’ and other efforts, including targeted investments and talent development programmes. This district seeks to ‘engage and inspire’, appealing to two-thirds of Saudi Arabia’s population.
“We observe the ambitious plans to propel it forward,” stated Qiddiya Investment Company’s Managing Director, Abdullah bin Nasser Aldawood. “The gaming and esports sector is experiencing rapid growth.” In order to enable Qiddiya City to welcome people from all over the world to live, learn, and compete in gaming and esports, it will be our duty to hold significant events and tournaments by improving the infrastructure.
“In addition to serving esports pros, Qiddiya City’s gaming and esports sector also serves gamers of all skill levels and age groups. This neighbourhood serves as a friendly gathering place for the gaming community and brings the virtual world of gaming closer to reality.”
There will be four venues in the region, with a combined seating capacity of 73,000. One of these locations, seating 5,300 people, will be one of the top three esports stadiums in the world and have the biggest indoor LED screen of any esports venue worldwide.
The hub, which spans more than 500,000 square metres and has 100,000 square metres set aside for food, shopping, and entertainment, will house hotels and apartments with a gaming theme and enable gamers to live, work, and play. It will serve as the regional headquarters for more than 30 top video game development companies and house up to 25 international esports clubs. The district, which is located in Qiddiya City, aims to establish the Kingdom as a worldwide hub by 2030 in accordance with the National Strategy for Gaming and Esports. It hopes to draw up to 10 million tourists a year.