Qiddiya’s eSports Arena Sets New Standards in Immersive Gaming Experiences

Qiddiya's eSports Arena Sets New Standards in Immersive Gaming Experiences

Under the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Gaming and eSports Strategy, Saudi Arabia is on the brink of becoming the global epicenter of gaming and eSports.

In line with this, Qiddiya City is gearing up to host the world’s first mixed-use gaming and eSports district, marking a new era in the industry. This project is designed to attract 10 million visitors by 2030, showcasing four eSports venues with a combined seating capacity of 73,000.

Also read: eSports Worth $13B to Add 40,000 Jobs to the Saudi Economy, Says Prince Faisal

A new era in eSports and gaming

Qiddiya City, one of Saudi Arabia’s new giga-projects, symbolizes a city dedicated entirely to play. It represents an intersection of entertainment, sports, and culture, appealing to Saudi nationals, residents, and global tourists. This unique destination, aligning with the “Play Life” ethos, hints at a year-round comprehensive calendar of major eSports events.

Boasting the world’s largest total video screen area and equipped with advanced 4D haptic seats, the arena offers an immersive experience where visitors can sense, feel, and smell the action. With a capacity of 5,155 seats, the arena’s focus extends beyond its size to prioritize an enhanced spectator experience. Moreover, thorough sightline studies have been conducted to guarantee that all seats offer optimal views. Including a “digital chandelier” at the center significantly improves the delivery of gameplay content.

Rhys Courtney, a Senior Principal at Populous EMEA, highlights the arena’s uniqueness, noting its scale and user experience as unparalleled in the esports world. The venue’s design philosophy centers around creating a fantasy world with a general admission experience that includes gaming zones, a food ‘souk’, retail areas, and an immersive entertainment zone.

“This arena will be unique in eSports in both scale and user experience.”

A district designed for gamers and beyond

The Qiddiya City eSports Arena is just one part of a larger, more comprehensive gaming and eSports district. This district is not only a venue for events but also a permanent home for the world’s elite eSports clubs. Qiddiya aims to provide facilities for up to 25 eSports clubs where they can live, train, and compete full-time.

Additionally, the district will serve as a regional headquarters for over 30 leading video game companies, further cementing Saudi Arabia’s position in the global gaming landscape. Spanning over 500,000 square meters, the Gaming & eSports District will include gaming spaces and an array of retail, dining, residential, and entertainment venues. Abdullah Aldawood, managing director of QIC, emphasizes the unique, gamified experience that Qiddiya City will offer to visitors and residents alike.

“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.”

Setting the global standard

Since two-thirds of Saudi Arabia’s population are gaming enthusiasts, the country aims to be a global gaming and eSports hub by 2030. This is a crucial goal of their National Gaming and eSports Strategy. Therefore, the Qiddiya City project is about building venues and establishing a comprehensive ecosystem for gaming and eSports. It’s about creating a place where gaming is both an activity and a lifestyle.

Shireen Hamdan, Senior Principal and General Manager of Populous KSA, encapsulates the vision of Qiddiya City eSports Arena, altogether representing Qiddiya’s ‘Play Life’ ethos. This arena and the broader district are set to redefine how the world perceives and interacts with gaming and eSports.

“The Qiddiya City eSports Arena is a state-of-the-art eSports venue that will serve as a centrepiece for this incredible global gaming hub and will be a complete representation of Qiddiya’s ‘Play Life’ ethos.”

As Saudi Arabia forges ahead with its vision, one question remains: Will Qiddiya City reshape the global gaming and eSports landscape as we know it? The answer lies in the unfolding of this venture, which is poised to change the face of entertainment, sports, and culture globally.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.