Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Qiddiya Ground Breaking 2018

Over the past year, the Executive Visions team, in partnership with Duvent, has been honored to serve as overall project lead on two major aspects of the Qiddiya Project in Saudi Arabia:

• The Qiddiya Visitor Experience Centre, and

• The Qiddiya Groundbreaking Launch Event, which was held in April, 2018.

Forty kilometers from the center of Riyadh city, Qiddiya is a major Saudi giga-project being launched by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination. It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with its 334 square kilometers tripling the size of Florida’s Walt Disney World.

EVI’s efforts have been under the direction of HE Dr. Fahad Toonsi, Secretary General for Qiddiya Founding Board, Public Investment Fund for The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Michael Reininger, CEO of the Qiddiya Investment Company and Wadi Abiani, the PIF’s Executive Director of Marketing. 

For the Visitor Experience Centre, EVI and Duvent served as the central architects, designers and master planners as well as facilitating and project managing the site development and construction of the center, which consisted of multiple buildings.

In a miraculous timespan of only three months, the team developed a master plan of 54,000 square meters, including multiple semi-permanent buildings, roads, civil works, landscaping, infrastructure, telecommunication systems, sanitation, power and lavish interiors to accommodate His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and HRH Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman Al Saud and their distinguished guests. For use beyond the Ground-Breaking, the buildings and fit-outs were built to standards assuring their sustainability for a minimum of eight years.

For the Groundbreaking Launch Event, EVI brought its world-renowned Event Production and Entertainment experience to the project, serving as the Executive Producer and Producer of that historic event.

With the goal of bringing the Qiddiya aspect of the 2030 Vision to life before the eyes of the Royal Family, EVI created and produced a one-night spectacle on a scale never before experienced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To house the show, EVI designed and constructed a Custom Event Venue adjacent to the Visitor Experience Centre. The venue was outfitted utilizing EVI’s state of the art staging and technical gear and supported with the team’s elite designers and technicians. 

The show itself was a 45-minute entertainment special featuring all original content. EVI had complete responsibility for the show, including: show concept and design, show direction, set design and build, original projection mapped content, lighting design and direction, complete sound design, live dance and acrobatic troupes, international casting, elaborate choreography with all custom numbers and wardrobe, and massive fireworks display.

The show featured multiple segments, each thematically designed and choreographed around one of the major pillars of the Qiddiya project. Live casts played a huge role, enabling the story of Qiddiya to be told in an engaging and meaningful way. 

An enveloping and immersive set, portraying the scenic beauty of the region’s mountains, was designed as the backdrop for the performances. The set surfaces, including the floor, were designed to feature an intensive set of projection-mapped visuals for each performance segment. The floors also contained embedded platforms for scenic reveals and trampoline decks for acrobatic stunts.

For the final act, the center set wall lowered, revealing the actual mountains in the distance which were dramatically lighted and served as the backdrop for an Olympic Games caliber fireworks and laser show.

Music was a major component of the launch event, and befitting the occasion, EVI produced an original orchestral work with acclaimed Hollywood composer/director William Ross. The piece featured multiple movements, highlighting the region's rich cultural heritage, that served as the sound score for the event and will live on as the thematic music for Qiddiya. EVI and Ross recorded the score at Abbey Road Studios in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

For the live event, the “Qiddiya Suite” was performed live by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Ross.

The event was broadcast live via Saudi TV to multiple syndicated networks including MBC. Video summaries were distributed to news networks like CNN and the BBC, further enhancing the Qiddiya ROI and promotional reach, while providing measurable and valuable exposure to the country, it’s leaders and their milestone project.

This summary is intended to provide a brief introduction to EVI’s Executive Producing role with aspects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Project and 2030 Vision. The complexities of such an endeavor are myriad and the level of detail far too extensive to cover in summary form, but we hope this overview will lead to a personal conversation where we may discuss the project in greater depth.

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