Scheduled to be completed by 2024, the “Esports City” will be primed as a top destination for gaming-related events to not only attract international esports teams but also nurture and support local aspiring players. Gamers can expect the city to host weeks-long tournaments with high prize pools, one of which is the upcoming World Cyber Games. The city will be able to accommodate 20,000 spectators.
Saudi Arabia Holding Co. CEO Mohammed AlQahtani expressed his excitement for the project, emphasizing the opportunities it will provide for esports enthusiasts to demonstrate their skills on a global platform. With the global esports industry estimated to be worth $1.6 billion in 2023, AlQahtani said the Esports City will also be a chance for investors to participate in a thriving sector with a significant consumer base.
Esports City is one of the projects under Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic plan by Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy so as to reduce its reliance on oil revenue. Besides entertainment, tourism, and other sectors, the country is also investing heavily in becoming a global hub in gaming and esports.
Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia, announced earlier this year the launch of the Events Investment Fund, which will be used to support the development infrastructure for culture, tourism, entertainment, and other sectors by 2030.