Massive ‘Dragon Ball’ theme park to be built in Saudi Arabia

The park will span about the size of Vatican City

In an exciting development for fans of Japanese pop culture and adventure seekers alike, Saudi Arabia will become home to the world’s first and only “Dragon Ball” theme park.

This massive project, announced in a press release on the official Dragon Ball website, aligns with Saudi Arabia’s desire to redefine itself as a premier entertainment and tourism destination.

The park, which spans approximately 125 acres — about the size of Vatican City — will showcase a striking 229-foot dragon modeled after Shenron, the wish-granting dragon from the series. Visitors can look forward to more than 30 rides, alongside hotels and culinary options, all inspired by the manga series.

“Dragon Ball,” a saga about a character named Goku’s pursuit of magical dragon balls, is one of Japan’s most treasured cultural exports. With a following developed through numerous TV series, video games and a wide range of merchandise, fans worldwide are buzzing with anticipation for this upcoming theme park adventure. The construction will be helmed by Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Co.

However, alongside the excitement, the project has also attracted criticism. Critics highlight Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative laws, under which women have limited rights and homosexuality is illegal, despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to modernize the kingdom’s image

The theme park’s development in Qiddiya City, near Riyadh, aligns with the crown prince’s Vision 2030 initiative. This forward-looking strategy seeks to diversify the Saudi economy and transform the kingdom into a pivotal center for gaming, tourism and innovation.

“Qiddiya City will contribute to transforming the Kingdom into a global destination and support Riyadh’s strategy to be among the best cities in the world,” an Instagram post reads.

This development comes after the recent passing of “Dragon Ball” creator Akira Toriyama. Fans around the world have paid tribute to Toriyama, whose storytelling and characters have had a significant impact on their lives. The park promises to be a vibrant celebration of the franchise, although officials have not yet announced a completion date.