Qiddiya – this word might not be familiar to you today, but we promise it will be a household name by 2022!

Zen Arts had the honor of being a big part of the ground-breaking ceremony for Qiddiya, which vows to be an amusement park 2.5 times the size of Disney World, acting as a hub for entertainment in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and eventually the entire world.

A four act show, featuring over 70 artists was prepared over the course of just a couple of months to kick off this prestigious project. Zen Arts supplied the majority of speciality acts ranging from aerialists to trampoline artists to LED BMX amongst many other unique apparatuses.

Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Qiddiya

Our large cast was joined by other teams in spending nearly two weeks rehearsing in the wide open desert. This intricate venue was built on a plot of land with a radius of about 15 miles of desert-scape surrounding it. It also  featured a wall that opened up to the elements to reveal a magnificent fireworks and drone show in the middle of the production. This feature was incredible and dynamic, but presented some challenges seeing that this desert experiences unexpected dust and thunderstorms regularly. Rehearsals and show schedules were often at mercy of the weather conditions – but we played along with the weather gods and persevered!

The stage was sculpted specifically to be used as a massive projection mapping surface that would transport viewers to uncannily realistic landscapes and experiences.

Many capable teams prepared for long periods of time for the night that the show would be presented to Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They were in for a narrative show that demonstrated the past, present and future of Saudi Arabia as a nation, and the future held Qiddiya. The building of this large-scale amusement park is a monumental and ambitious strategy to open Saudi Arabia up to the global economy and ease the strict social restrictions in the country.

The Zen Arts team was excited to be the part of the very first efforts to bring western entertainment to Saudi Arabia and to have been part of the ground-breaking ceremony for what will be our future generations’ Disneyland.

Choreography: Barry Lather

Event Producer: Executive Visions Inc