Saudi Arabia is continuing its exponential tourism growth with the creation of the Qiddiya Gaming & Esports District, a mixed-use gaming and eSports district, to attract gaming tourism. 

The gaming neighbourhood will host multiple dedicated eSports venues, themed hotels, practice facilities for up to 20 eSports teams. 

Its first major event will be The Esports World Cup after signing a three-year-deal with Qiddiya to become an official partner.

The Esports World Cup will take place this summer from July to August and will host major tournaments in top titles including the likes of StarCraft II, Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Garena Free Fire.

“Our strategic partnership with the Esports World Cup shows our commitment to the gaming and eSports communities. Through innovative partnerships and creation of world-class assets, Qiddiya City aims to become a global gaming and entertainment hub,” said Abdullah Aldawood, managing director of Qiddiya Investment Company.

The news comes on the back of a busy period in the Kingdom as last December Qiddiya City unveiled plans for a landmark mixed-use gaming and eSports district. Qiddiya City will be home to the world’s first mixed-use gaming and eSports district.

It is a move to cement the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as ‘the global epicentre of this dynamic sector.’

This pioneering new Gaming & Esports district aims to align itself with the exponential traction of a rapidly growing gaming and eSports industry. Located in Qiddiya City, the vibrant district will be home to four dedicated eSports venues that will host global events across the year. 

The district will offer a peak eSports tournament seating capacity of 73,000 across the destination. It aims to attract up to 10 million visits annually.

It was confirmed by Qiddiya Investment Company’s Board of Directors that one of the new venues will boast the largest indoor LED screen in any eSports arena and feature 5,300 seats – making it one of the three largest eSports venues in the world.

“Qiddiya City is proud to be home to this innovative gaming and eSports district, set to offer a unique, engaging, gamified experience to both its visitors and residents,” commented at the unveiling Abdullah Aldawood, Managing Director of Qiddiya Investment Company. 

The district will host the world’s elite eSports clubs, not just during tournaments but on a full-time basis. It will invest in developing innovative facilities that up to 25 eSports clubs will be able to live, train and compete.

Leaders from the gaming and eSports industry will also be welcomed to Qiddiya City, which will house the regional headquarters of more than 30 leading video game companies. The Gaming & Esports District will cover more than 500,000sq. m., including 100,000sq. m of retail, dining and entertainment venues.

As part of the grand plans for the destination, gaming-themed apartments and hotels will be created to emphasise the world of gaming. The district is a core pillar of the National Gaming and Esports Strategy, which aims to make Saudi Arabia, a country where two-thirds of the population are gaming enthusiasts, the centre of global gaming and eSports by 2030.

The announcement follows the unveiling of a new vision for Qiddiya focussed on the power of play. “Qiddiya City will offer unrivalled experiences across entertainment, sports, and culture with more attractions to be announced soon,” added Aldawood.

Images: Qiddiya City