Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya reveals giant mountainside projection

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Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya reveals giant mountainside projection

  • QIC’s outdoor display, which uses 84 projectors, was showcased in a three-minute video

RIYADH: The Tuwaiq mountains provide the dramatic backdrop for a new giant digital display from the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

Qiddiya, located 40 km west of Riyadh, is referred to as Saudi Arabia’s future “capital of entertainment, sports and the arts,” and QIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

QIC’s outdoor display, which uses 84 projectors, was showcased in a three-minute video that tells the evolution of the mountains from the ice age right through to the scheduled opening of the Qiddiya project in 2023.

“We received a great reaction when we first used projection to illustrate the potential of Qiddiya at our groundbreaking ceremony,” said Qiddiya CEO Michael Reininger. 

“This inspired us to create an enhanced and sophisticated light show that uses the latest audio-visual technology that, once again, highlights how Qiddiya is set to become the Kingdom’s capital of entertainment, sports and the arts. The projection display will continue to illuminate the skies above Qiddiya and we hope to work with other Saudi entities to explore how best to use this valuable tool in the future for mutually beneficial purposes.”


Display covers 32,000 square meters.

The digital display was used at the closing ceremony for the 2020 Dakar Rally to see how it worked under real-event conditions and featured a 150-meter- high Qiddiya logo. 

It was used to unveil the G20 logo in December last year, interspersed with images of the Saudi flag, profiles of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the chairman of the board of directors of Qiddiya.

The entire display covers approximately 32,000 square meters and, over the last four months, a team of more than 80 technicians have worked around the clock to install the technology.    

Saudis spend $30 billion on tourism abroad every year. By providing new entertainment options for citizens and residents in the Kingdom, the Qiddiya project aims to redirect some of the overseas tourism spending back into Saudi Arabia.

This goal also supports the Vision 2030 objective to increase spending within the Kingdom on culture and entertainment activities, from about 3 percent of household income to 6 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s reform drive empowering women, US diplomat says

Updated 23 February 2020

Saudi Arabia’s reform drive empowering women, US diplomat says

  • Few outside Kingdom understand the scale of female empowerment, top US diplomat tells Arab News

RIYADH: Few people outside Saudi Arabia grasp the scale of the Kingdom’s reform drive, especially in empowering women, a leading US diplomat has told Arab News.

“I was reminded of this … by a prominent Saudi woman, who is happy and proud of the reforms,” said US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

“She made the excellent point that Saudi women have been strong, capable and educated for a long time.”

The woman told Ortagus that Saudi women wanted their peers in the US to understand them, not feel pity for them. “Saudi women are not in need of being rescued,” Ortagus said,

READ FULL INTERVIEW: Saudi-US bond will last another 75 years, says US State Department spokesperson

Ortagus lived in Saudi Arabia for almost two years after she was appointed deputy US Treasury attache in 2010, and has been revisiting for the first time since then.

“It doesn’t even seem like the same country,” she said. “I didn’t recognize it. I couldn’t believe that it was the same diplomatic quarter that I used to live in 10 years ago — it is totally transformed.”


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Washington would always welcome Saudi input on Middle East issues, she said. “We’d love the Kingdom’s help on things like the peace plan and vision that Jared Kushner has laid out. It may not be a perfect plan, but if we’re ever going to have peace in this region, it’s going to come from Saudi Arabia getting in and being involved.”