World’s First ‘Dragon Ball’ Theme Park to Be Built in Saudi Arabia

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
Gamers line up to play Dragonball Z during the first day of Europe’s leading digital games fair Gamescom, which showcases the latest trends of the computer gaming scene in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019.

TOKYO (Reuters) – The world’s first theme park devoted to the “Dragon Ball” universe of comics, movies, and games will be built in Saudi Arabia, the franchise owner said on Friday.

The park, centered around the world of magical martial artist Goku and friends, will be part of the Qiddiya Investment Company’s project near Riyadh, according to a release.

The 500,000 meter project will feature rides and attractions in seven areas inspired by the series along with hotels and restaurants.

“Dragon Ball” was first serialized in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine in 1984 before being adapted into movies, video games and TV shows distributed in more than 80 countries.

Its creator, Japanese manga comic creator Akira Toriyama, died this month at age 68, prompting eulogies and memorials from fans around the world.

Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its hydrocarbon-based economy with a number of entertainment-related mega projects. Qiddiya is being built on a site more than double the size of Florida’s Disney World and is planned to include a Six Flags roller coaster theme park as well.