The Citizen (KZN)

‘Dragon Ball’ theme park planned in Saudi Arabia


A theme park based on Japan’s Dragon Ball manga franchise will be built in Saudi Arabia’s new high-end tourist attraction of Qiddiya just outside Riyadh, authoritie­s said on Friday.

The announceme­nt comes two weeks after fans of the massively popular and influentia­l series were shocked by news of the death of its creator Akira Toriyama, aged 68.

The 500 000m2 park will allow fans to “live the adventures at the heart of the action, experienci­ng the journey from the first

Dragon Ball series to the latest Dragon Ball Super”, according to a press release by the Qiddiya Investment Company. First serialised in 1984, Dragon Ball is one of the best-selling manga franchises of all time and has spawned countless anime series, films and video games.

Toriyama’s death this month from a blood clot on the brain sparked an outpouring of grief from around the world, including tributes from French President Emmanuel Macron and Brazilian vice-president Geraldo Alckmin.

In a press release on the official Dragon Ball website, authoritie­s in Qiddiya did not give an opening date for the park, and also did not say how much constructi­on would cost.

The statement said the attraction would be split into seven themed zones based on the magical dragon-containing balls that are central to the series.

The park will have at least 30 rides and include a 70-metre dragon at the centre of the site, it said.

The Qiddiya “entertainm­ent city” project, featuring high-end theme parks, motorsport facilities and a safari area, is under constructi­on near the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Shares of Toei Animation, which produced the

Dragon Ball anime series, surged 6.7% on Friday.

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