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Saudi Arabia Unveils World’s First Gaming And eSport District

The site at Qiddiya will host global events and attract 10 million visitors annually with gaming-themed accommodation and 100,000 sqm of entertainment.

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saudi arabia unveils world's first gaming and esports district
Saudi Press Agency

Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to create the world’s first dedicated gaming and eSports district at Qiddiya City. The project aims to propel the Kingdom into the thriving professional eSports scene.

In the heart of Qiddiya City — 40 km from the capital Riyadh — the new gaming district will be centered around four eSports venues designed to host prominent events and attract up to 10 million visitors yearly, the state news agency SPA announced.

saudi arabia esport district 1

The Gaming & eSports District launch comes after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s support for the sector demonstrated through a “National Strategy” and initiatives, including talent development programs and targeted investments. The district, with its widespread appeal to over two-thirds of the Saudi population, aims to “engage and inspire”.

saudi arabia esport district 2

Abdullah bin Nasser Aldawood, the Managing Director of Qiddiya Investment Company, explained: “The gaming and eSports sector is experiencing rapid growth, and we observe the ambitious plans to propel it forward. Our responsibility will be to host major events and tournaments by enhancing the infrastructure, enabling Qiddiya City to invite the world to live, learn, and compete in gaming and eSports. The gaming and eSports district in Qiddiya City caters to eSports professionals and gaming enthusiasts of all levels and ages. This district transforms the gaming world into a tangible reality, serving as a welcoming space for the gaming community”.

Also Read: The Middle East Is Rapidly Becoming An eSports Hub

The 500,000 square meter site will boast four gaming arenas with a total capacity of 73,000 seats. The largest of the venues is planned to have a capacity of 5,300, making it one of the biggest eSports stadiums in the world. The district will also be home to up to 25 eSports clubs, with 100,000 square meters allocated to retail, dining, and entertainment. When completed, Qiddiya City will allow gamers to live, work, and play, even offering gaming-themed apartments and hotels.

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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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