Qiddiya Reveals Iconic Populous Design for New Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium

January 18, 2024

The Board of Directors of the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has revealed Populous’ design for the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium, an iconic multi-use venue that is designed to further enhance Qiddiya’s philosophy of the Power of Play.

Located in Qiddiya City, atop the breathtaking 200m-high Tuwaiq cliff and just 40 minutes from Riyadh, this futuristic venue is anticipated to become a must-visit destination. It aims to draw visitors from across the globe and revolutionise the traditional stadium experience with its immersive design and unique technological features. It is anticipated to host some of Saudi Arabia’s biggest sports, entertainment and cultural events.

The stadium is set to be the world’s first fully integrated venue with a combined retractable roof, pitch and LED wall – an architectural innovation offering unparalleled versatility and allowing the space to transform into different ‘event modes’ in a matter of hours. This LED wall will be a portal to live event broadcasts, high-definition films and laser shows, offering guests a novel, immersive experience with each visit. When not activated, it will open to reveal breathtaking views of Qiddiya City.

Guests will be able to enjoy multiple spectacles in a single day, including football, boxing, esports, concerts and theatre performances to name a few. The stadium will employ cutting-edge technology to provide fans with instant access to live data and information including the use of state-of-the-art technology such as HoloBox, enabling virtual interactions with celebrities and stars.

As a central venue in an urban entertainment district, this uniquely versatile space promises an extended play experience with direct and convenient access to Qiddiya City’s vibrant Gaming & Esport District, as well as other city entertainment options. Integrated into the city fabric through a variety of transportation choices including park ’n ride and drop-off zones, the stadium is also within direct proximity to 50,000 square meters of shopping, dining and entertainment spaces as well as hotel options.

The 45-000 seat multi-functional stadium is fully compliant with FIFA requirements for club and international competition. Once open, it will serve as the home ground of Saudi Pro League football clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr and is one of the proposed venues for the Kingdom’s 2034 FIFA World Cup bid. It is also poised to host some of the region’s biggest sports events including the Saudi King Cup, the Asian Cup and possibly the 2034 Asian Games.

There will be an estimated 7.6 million annual visits to the stadium, which will be able to host events all year-round in its climate-controlled facilities, where energy consumption will be reduced through an eco-friendly cooling lake built directly under the stadium. The lake will use rainwater capture from the stadium and the surrounding area to pre-cool the air conditioning system.

Commenting on the stadium, Abdullah bin Nasser Aldawood, Managing Director of Qiddiya Investment Company said:

“Our ambition is for Qiddiya City to become a global destination for entertainment, sports and culture and this iconic new stadium will be at its very heart. The futuristic venue aims to reinvent the traditional stadium concept and embody the true spirit of Qiddiya’s Power of Play philosophy. It uses state-of-the-art technology and innovative, world-leading design to put the spectator at the centre of the experience”. He added “It will become a bucket-list destination for fans and enthusiasts across the world, hosting major events from across the world of sport and entertainment.”

Chris Lee, Managing Director of Populous, EMEA, comments:

 The Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium represents a quantum leap in stadium design and a new generation of digitally-enabled innovation. The level of embedded technology will enable both incredible gaming and entertainment experiences and a new way for fans to watch and enjoy football itself.

Shireen Hamdan, Senior Principal and GM of Populous MENA adds:

“We have been able to draw on all our experience in sport and entertainment venues to create this iconic multi-use stadium. The location and design of this unique, futuristic venue will ensure an incredible experience for everyone who visits and uses it.”

Rhys Courtney, Senior Principal and Project Lead for the stadium comments:

“In designing this flagship venue, we were inspired both by the clifftop location, and the innovation and ‘Play Life’ ethos of Qiddiya. The stadium exterior is formed by a collection of modular cubes that act as an extension of the Tuwaiq cliff, framed by portals that glimpse into the future of the city. The stadium spans the height of the cliff to connect the upper plateau and the Gaming & Esports district, to the lower plateau and theme parks below.

“The cubes and portals spill down the cliff to create a massive digital canvas that interacts with users at different scales, from street-level vistas to the three-sided seating bowl experience, to citywide views – transcending the stadium typology. The central stadium is encircled by towers creating a 365-day mixed use sports and entertainment precinct forming hierarchies of space and activation. A covered, mixed-reality street runs between the stadium and surrounding towers to circulate fans and the public towards the phenomenal cliff-edge views over Qiddiya.”

The unveiling of the stadium follows the launch of Qiddiya City’s world-first multi-use Gaming & Esports District, with the Qiddiya City Esports Arena also designed by Populous.


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