World’s First Dragon Ball Theme Park Announced in Saudi Arabia

Just a few weeks after the death of its creator Akira Toriyama, the world’s first theme park dedicated to the “Dragon Ball” universe of comics, movies, and games is set to be built in Saudi Arabia.

The “Dragon Ball” park, centred around the world of Son Goku – the young boy with supernatural martial arts powers on a journey to collect seven magical orbs that elicit a wish-granting dragon – will be built in Qiddiya, the entertainment and tourism project outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the Qiddiya Investment Company and Toei Animation announced on Friday.

Toriyama, who achieved worldwide success with “Dragon Ball,” died on March 1 at 68, prompting mourning by millions of fans around the world.

Manga and anime are becoming increasingly popular in Saudi where there are an estimated 13 million fans of the Japanese genre and around 85 million across the Arab world, according to Saudi anime production and distribution company Manga Productions.

The massive planned “Dragon Ball” theme park will be spread over more than 500,000 square meters (310,00 square miles) and feature seven different areas recreating various iconic locales from the original series, such as Kame House, Capsule Corporation, and Beerus’s Planet. Qiddiya is being built on a site more than double the size of Florida’s Disney World. 

The theme park will feature five state-of-the-art rides as part of a lineup of more than 30 attractions, according to a Toei Animation statement. The plan also comprises “Dragon Ball” themed hotels and restaurants.

First published as a serial in 1984, “Dragon Ball” has grown to become one of the best-selling manga series ever. It’s also credited as popularizing the medium of manga across the globe, further bolstered by its various anime adaptations’ enduring audience in Western countries.


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