Qiddiya Appoints Middle East Industry Expert as Chief Development Officer
Riyadh, KSA, 20 May, 2019: Qiddiya has announced the appointment of its Chief Development Officer – Kareem Shamma.
Shamma who has spent much of his 35 year career in the GCC, with periods in Bahrain, the UAE, and the United Kingdom, started his professional life in Saudi Arabia. He spent several years in the Kingdom as an engineer working on Riyadh’s ring road network, including the construction of a number of its bridges and underpasses.
Now with over three decades of technical & commercial engineering, and development experience behind him, Shamma has an extensive record of achievements in leading major projects across numerous sectors from hospitality, leisure and mixed-use real estate developments.
“I spent my early career in the Kingdom developing key infrastructure, as the capital city grew and the Kingdom developed. To come back a second time and work on this extraordinary project is a chance of a lifetime and I’m fortunate to be part of building Qiddiya – a project which will change the way that the population will spend their leisure time. I look forward to working with the talented team already in place to create this unique destination.”
He joins Qiddiya following his role as CEO of one of the region’s largest entertainment, hospitality and retail projects, where he was responsible for the overall delivery of SAR 6BN worth of mixed-use development, including a mall of 250,000 leasable m2 , 4 theme parks, a 5-star hotel and conference centre.
Qiddiya’s Chief Administration Officer, Abdulaziz Al Remaihi commented “We welcome Kareem back to Riyadh. He has a wealth of experience that will help us to create the capital of entertainment, sports and the arts here in the Kingdom, and we all look forward to working with him.”
Fluent in both Arabic and English, Kareem’s successful track record in directing major projects from inception through to completion ideally positions him to lead the planning, construction and handover of Qiddiya, in accordance with the project’s approved vision. Qiddiya, as an integrated destination for entertainment, sports and the arts is due to open at the end of 2022.
About Qiddiya Investment Company:
The Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) was incorporated on 10th May, 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 7th April, 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 28th April, 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.