Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s Future Entertainment, Sport and Cultural Destination, Announces a Global Advisory Board.
- Twelve leading experts from around the world to advise Qiddiya, the 334-square-km entertainment, sports and cultural destination on the outskirts of Riyadh.
- The Advisory Board is made up of the best of international experience from business, academia and the NGO community to support Qiddiya’s 300 activities.
- Advisory Board to boost Qiddiya’s visibility with collaborators and investors, and offer ongoing insights and advice from global perspectives.
July 14 2018: Qiddiya, the entertainment, sport and cultural destination on the edge of Riyadh, today announced the formation of its global Advisory Board. The expert Advisory Board, made up of twelve expert advisors, will be a core part of supporting Qiddiya, which will attract 17 million visitors and employ some 60,000 people over the next decade.
Qiddiya is a core part of Vision 2030’s aspiration to diversify the Saudi Arabian economy and enable wider societal transformation. The advisors come from across themed entertainment, hospitality, grassroots and elite sports, adventure and motor activities, culture and the arts. They also bring specialist insight from the worlds of planning and design, finance, regulation, and commercial real estate development.
Tim Richards commented:
“I am honoured to have been asked to join such an impressive and talented group of industry leading experts from around the world to assist in the development of one of the most significant projects in the Middle East. Qiddiya, is a core element of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz’s strategic vision for the Kingdom’s future. The development of this world class, ambitious entertainment, sport and cultural destination is a huge moment in the history of Saudi Arabia and in the history of global cinema development for the exhibition industry.”
Michael Reininger, Chief Executive Officer of Qiddiya, commented on the value the Advisory Board brings to the project:
"Qiddiya is meant to be a living concept that activates and inspires the young people of Saudi Arabia through a broad spectrum of new experiences and opportunities for their lifestyles and their professional endeavors. Through these efforts, we hope to help grow tomorrow’s national heroes. By bringing together luminaries from so many sectors, we seek to inspire our own long-term vision and to inform our efforts, enabling business decisions bolstered by the very best international insight and experience."
Reininger went on to note: ‘This is a project conceived on an unprecedented scale; it will be not just a physical construct, but a vision that is powered by people. We need both the practical experiences and blue-sky perspectives from expertise outside of the daily pursuit of our mission to build something of current relevance and enduring potential. Our Advisory Board will be a vital source of inspiration, provocation and evaluation.’
Almamoun Alshingiti, Qiddiya’s official spokesperson emphasized that the Advisory Board offers a unique skillset. ‘Not only will Qiddiya’s impact as a destination be increased by the skills of Advisory Board members, but the project’s ability to influence several socio-economic issues will be too.’
Alshingiti went on to note: ‘The collective experience of the Advisory Board will enhance the project’s role in economic diversification, public health issues, urban development, youth skills, entrepreneurship and female empowerment; all areas that will prove critical to the enduring legacy of the project in its transformative role in Saudi society.’
The business underpinnings of Qiddiya seek a market share of the $30 billion spent annually by Saudis on foreign tourism and to increase domestic spending within KSA on culture and entertainment $17 billion by 2030, from 3% to 6% of current household income. In this way, the Advisory Board will help to fulfill key goals set forward in Vision 2030. Initial areas for the Advisory Board’s attention include assessing the strategic vision of the project and the master plan and design for Qiddiya, as well as the development of the project’s overall brand and positioning.
The members of the Advisory Board are:
Tim Richards, Founder and CEO Vue International
Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International
Alistair Gosling, Founder and CEO, Extreme International
Bill Reese, CEO, International Youth Foundation
Bob Ward, Founder, Strategic Insights & Creative Imagination
Gilda Perez-Alvarado, Managing Director and Head of Global Hotel Desk, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
Maxwell Anderson, President, Souls Grown Deep Foundation
Michael Johnson, President & Founder, Michael Johnson Performance
Michael Pask, Founder, Michael Pask Advisory
Rosa Zeegers, VP of Consumer Products & Experiences, National Geographic
Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) was incorporated on 10th May, 2018, as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. QIC will drive the development of Qiddiya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent entertainment destination, home of inspiration, discovery and engagement.
Announced by His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and of PIF, on 7th April, 2017, Qiddiya is a transformational project that will be built 40km from downtown Riyadh, with a total area of 334 sq. km.
Visitors will have access to more than 300 ground-breaking recreational and educational facilities across five innovatively designed pillars focusing on: high-end theme parks, water and snow-based activities; numerous sports arenas capable of hosting international competitions and world-class training facilities and academies; desert and asphalt tracks for motorsport enthusiasts; outdoor and adventure activities alongside nature and animal experiences; and an array of historical, cultural and educational
The project broke ground on 28th April, 2018 and phase one is set to open in 2022.