Hospitality Expert Appointed to Lead Qiddiya’s Parks & Attractions
RIYADH, KSA, 28 May, 2019: Qiddiya has appointed Donald Potts as its President for Parks & Attractions. A seasoned entertainment sector expert, Potts worked extensively in the U.S., Kazakhstan and China with a key focus on hospitality and destination resorts. During his 30-year career, he has held key positions in service-driven businesses including resorts, theme parks, national park concession operations, food & beverage services and ski resorts. His professional expertise lies in creating and leading broad scale initiatives in organisational design, change leadership and operational programme development across major global projects.
Potts on joining Qiddiya said, “I’ve spent my career developing and leading key hospitality areas in service-driven businesses, and I look forward to being part of Qiddiya – a transformational project of scale which is set to change the horizon of hospitality in the region, and possibly the world. The Kingdom is experiencing structural, commercial and economic changes, and to be able to be a part of this is not only exciting but inspiring as well”.
Prior to joining Qiddiya, Potts held the position of Vice President – Resort, Park and Entertainment Business Operations at Riverside Investment Group in Beijing, China. During his tenure, he was responsible for the design and development of operational planning and programming of Riverside’s Themed Towns across specific areas including theme and water parks, hotels, cultural exhibitions and retail, dining and entertainment.
Qiddiya’s Chief Administration Officer, Abdulaziz AlRemaihi commented: “We are thrilled to have Donald Potts on board. His extensive global experience and industry-related knowledge will help us achieve our vision of becoming one of the world’s leading hospitality destinations. I wish him and our project all the best.”
The first phase of Qiddiya is set to launch in 2022.
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About Qiddiya Investment Company:
The Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) was incorporated on May 10, 2018, as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. QIC will drive the development of Qiddiya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent multifaceted entertainment destination, home of inspiration, discovery and engagement.
Announced by His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and of PIF, on April 7, 2017, Qiddiya is a transformational project that will be built 40km from downtown Riyadh, with a total area of 334 sq.km.
Visitors will enjoy access to a range of diverse activities and services across five innovatively designed cornerstones: Sports & Wellness; Nature & Environment; Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture. The development of these areas will give rise to: high-end theme parks; water and snow-based activities; numerous sports arenas capable of hosting international competitions and world-class training academies; race tracks for motorsport enthusiasts; outdoor and adventure activities alongside nature and environment experiences; and an array of historical, cultural and educational activities and events. Qiddiya will also include a variety of real estate options and community services.
A core element of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Qiddiya will unlock tremendous opportunity, enabling economic diversification, while enhancing the quality of life for Saudi citizens.
The project broke ground on April 28, 2018 and phase one is set to open in 2022. A three-phased approach is currently underway for the entire project. 2019 will see the launch of the Visitor Experience Centre, the reveal of the masterplan as well as the start of construction for phase one.