Two years ago, I wrote Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy by moving away from oil. To achieve this, the Saudi government launched the Quality of Life Program.
They are planning to invest 130 billion riyals (1 riyal = 0.26 USD) in this program.
The Qiddiya project began in 2016 when the Saudi government announced Vision 2030. Qiddiya (334km2 site) is set to become the Kingdom’s capital of Entertainment, Sports, and the Arts.
In collaboration with Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), Qiddiya’s Master Plan has been developed with the first phase scheduled to open in 2023.
It will include 45+ projects and 300+ activities across the creative, hospitality and entertainment, and sporting sectors.
Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in Qiddiya
Jack Nicklaus Design was invited to design a championship course for a private golf and country club, set within an exclusive residential community in the heart of the Qiddiya development, just outside Riyadh.
The golf course will be framed by the Tuwaiq mountain range.
Jack Nicklaus said
“The design will fully integrate the natural environment and the beautiful Qiddiya landscape, bringing together green spaces and mountainous terrain to form a picturesque canvas for both a beautiful and challenging golf course.”
The Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course is already under construction since 2019.
The golf development will include a high-end resort hotel and spa, as well as exclusive residences, that once finished will position the development as both the premier Golf and Country Club and number one course in Saudi Arabia.
The planning of the course has been undertaken by Qiddiya in consultation with Golf Saudi.
The Nicklaus-designed course is the centerpiece of what has been positioned as the most exclusive golf residential community in the Kingdom.
Qiddiya is already seeking designers for a second course.
What I cannot see here is what will they do for the sake of sustainability. In the surrounding countries I found a number of very good sustainability initiatives:
- Al Mouj Golf – Oman;
- Al Hamra Golf Club – Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates;
- Saadiyat Beach Golf, Yas Links Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Golf Club;
- Education City Golf Club – Qatar.
Let’s not forget water security is a key challenge for Saudi Arabia.
Will they allow women to play golf and participate in the club’s life? The country’s human rights record is still far from the ideal situation even though we can see some changes in regards women’s rights.