Stock - Qiddiya water theme park
Saudi Arabia is creating a sports, leisure and entertainment destination at Qiddiya, part of its multi-prong strategy to build a world-class tourism destinations. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A SR2.8 billion contract has been awarded to build Saudi Arabia’s first water theme park, and which aims to be the region’s largest of its kind. It will take shape at Qiddiya, a new multi-purpose destination being developed by the Kingdom as one of its ‘giga-projects’. Qiddiya will be a 'new city' located outside of Riyadh.

A joint venture featuring ALEC Saudi Arabia Engineerings and Contracting and El Seif Engineering Contracting has bagged the Dh2.8 billion contract for the Qiddiya Water Theme Park. The project awards were handed out by the operating entity, Qiddiya Investment Company. (Parts of the Qiddiya mega-destination is scheduled to open in 2023.)

The park, set on 252,000 square metres, will have 22 rides and attractions – including nine that will be “world-firsts”. Some rides have been designed to use 75 per cent less water compared to conventional rides at other water parks. Rainwater that falls on the site will also be captured, treated and reused.

“The Qiddiya Water Theme Park will be a year-round immersive family entertainment destination, the first of its kind and offering experiences that have never before been offered in Saudi," said Abdullah bin Nasser Aldawood, Board Member and Managing Director, Qiddiya Investment Co..

Sports and recreation
Future visitors at Qiddiya Water Theme Park can also take a dip at its water sports facilities as well as indulge in the 17 F&B and retail outlets.

The park design will incorporate advanced systems to minimize the use of water through recycling and smart usage. This will "maximize the fun for visitors whilst significantly reducing the amount of water needed to operate the park".

The park will have technologies to reduce water pressure on certain rides, which will reduce water evaporation by half. In addition, every pool within the destination will be based on a ‘run-out’ concept, so that “at the end of an exciting slide individuals will glide safely across a shallower pool that uses less water unlike traditional deeper pools used in other water parks”.

El Seif, part of the joint venture that will build the water theme park, has figured in projects such as the Kingdom Tower, Princess Noura University and Haramain High Speed Rail Rabigh Station. The joint venture with ALEC was struck to take on “large complex projects” in the Kingdom.

ALEC entered the Saudi market through an office in Riyadh in late 2020.