Dragon Ball’s First Theme Park to Open in Saudi Arabia

Qiddiya Project to Bring Dragon Ball Magic to Life

In the wake of the passing of Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, Saudi Arabia has unveiled ambitious plans to construct the world’s inaugural Dragon Ball-themed amusement park as part of its expansive Qiddiya tourism endeavor. Encompassing a sprawling 5.3 million square feet, the entertainment complex will encompass seven distinct zones inspired by the beloved Japanese anime series, boasting over 30 themed attractions, hotels, and dining establishments, as reported by Variety.

The collaborative effort between the Qiddiya Investment Company and Toei Animation seeks to pay homage to Toriyama’s iconic creation. Among the park’s highlights will be five exhilarating rides, including the towering Shenron roller coaster, paying homage to the series’ enigmatic dragon, along with other immersive experiences drawing inspiration from Kame House, Capsule Corporation, and Beerus’s Planet. Additional details regarding the Qiddiya Dragon Ball attraction, situated on a site surpassing the size of Florida’s Disney World, are set to be unveiled soon.

Designed to captivate the burgeoning manga and anime enthusiast community in Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab region, the theme park aligns with the nation’s Vision 2030 initiative spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This strategic endeavor aims to diversify the country’s economy and bolster its tourism sector. With the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia heavily invested in cultural and recreational projects, Qiddiya City is poised to emerge as a premier global destination, boasting over 400 diverse attractions ranging from golf courses to water parks. Notably, the park represents the world’s maiden theme park venture inspired by the revered media franchise.

However, the announcement has sparked controversy among fans, as noted by the BBC, amidst apprehensions surrounding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, treatment of women, and stance on LGBTQ+ rights. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s alleged involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has further fueled dissent.

The passing of Toriyama, the legendary Japanese manga artist behind the beloved Dragon Ball series, in early March due to a brain condition at the age of 68, adds a poignant layer to the development of this ambitious project.