Saudi Arabia has recently unveiled plans to construct the world’s first Dragon Ball theme park in honor of the late creator, Akira Toriyama. The park, to be featured as part of the Qiddiya tourism project, will span an impressive 5.3 million square feet. With seven distinct areas inspired by the iconic Japanese anime series, visitors can look forward to over 30 themed rides, hotels, and dining options.

This ambitious project, a collaboration between the Qiddiya Investment Company and Toei Animation, is a nod to the cultural significance of the Dragon Ball franchise. In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the theme park aims to diversify the nation’s economy and boost tourism. It is clear that the kingdom is making strides to appeal to the growing fanbase of manga and anime not only within Saudi Arabia but also across the Arab world.

Despite the excitement surrounding the announcement, the project has not been without its share of criticism. Concerns have been raised regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, treatment of women, and the lack of acknowledgment of LGBTQ+ rights. Additionally, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s alleged involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has cast a shadow over the initiative. It remains to be seen how these issues will impact the reception and success of the Dragon Ball theme park.

The Qiddiya Dragon Ball attraction promises to be a unique and immersive experience, featuring rides like the Shenron roller coaster, inspired by the series’ mystical dragon, and other iconic attractions such as Kame House and Capsule Corporation. With plans for the theme park to surpass the size of Disney World in Florida, fans can anticipate a truly one-of-a-kind destination that celebrates the legacy of Akira Toriyama and the world of Dragon Ball.

The introduction of the Dragon Ball theme park in Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in the realm of entertainment and tourism. While the project has garnered mixed reactions, it undeniably represents a bold step towards embracing popular culture and diversifying the kingdom’s offerings. As construction progresses and more details are revealed, it will be fascinating to see how this ambitious endeavor unfolds and resonates with fans around the world.


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