Saudi Arabia grandiose sports tourism plans


Tender announced for Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh Image: Ministry of Sport

Saudi Arabia’s Sports Ministry has tendered a contract for the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.

The above step reaffirms Saudi Arabia’s commitment to developing its sports infrastructure and enhancing its position as a regional and international sports hub and a sports tourism destination.

‘MEED’ stated that it issued the request for proposals (RFPs) on April 8th and expects to receive bids on June 14th.

The Prince Faisal bin Fahd Sports City Stadium is a stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is currently used mostly for football matches. Named after Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the stadium has a capacity to accommodate 22,500 people.

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits a proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service, or valuable asset, to the potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

The stadium’s current capacity is 22,188 seats and the expansion aims to increase the seating capacity to approximately 45,000. The expansion project comes as the Kingdom prepares to host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2027.

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)-based the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal in most countries/territories in Asia. The AFC was formed in 1954. It has 47 members.

The 2027 AFC Asian Cup will be the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The tournament involves 24 national teams after the expansion in 2019. It will be held in January 2027 in Saudi Arabia.

Expansion Details:

A ‘LinkedIn Post’ stated that the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh includes:

  • Increasing the number of stands;
  • Building new facilities, including changing rooms, hospitality areas and parking lots;
  • Upgrading the sound and lighting systems; and
  • Improving accessibility for the disabled.

The ‘LinkedIn Post’ further stated that the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh is scheduled to be completed before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, which will be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time in its history.

This tournament is one of the most significant sports events in Asia and is expected to attract millions of fans from all over the world.

By hosting this tournament, Saudi Arabia aims to:

  • Enhance its position as a Sports Tourism destination;
  • Support the national economy;
  • Create new job opportunities; and
  • Inspire a new generation of Saudi athletes.

The expansion of the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium is part of a comprehensive plan to develop the sports infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, which also includes building new stadiums and renovating the existing ones.

These efforts are in line with Vision 2030, which aims to make the Kingdom a leading center for sports and entertainment in the region.

Capital Projects

‘MEED’ further stated that the project is part of the Kingdom’s plan to build sports stadiums under its SR10.1bn ($2.7bn) capital projects program.

Earlier, it was reported that the Sports Ministry has tendered an early works contract for the expansion of the 26,000-capacity Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam (Saudi Arabia). The scope of the contract includes the decommissioning, demolition, bulk excavation, relocation, and setting up of related facilities for the stadium.

In July last year, the Ministry invited the construction companies to submit prequalification documents for the main construction contracts for the schemes that are part of the capital projects program.
The projects, which are set for completion before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, include:

  • Increasing the capacity of the 58,398-capacity King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to 92,000 seats;
  • Expanding the seating capacity of Riyadh’s 22,500-capacity Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Sports City Stadium to 45,000;
  • Increasing the capacity of the 26,000-capacity Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam to 30,000 seats;
  • An increase in seating capacity for the 20,000-capacity Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium in Al Khobar to 45,000; and
  • The construction of a sustainable New Riyadh Stadium in the North of Riyadh with 45,000 seats.

The next main element of the Ministry’s projects program is the construction of 30 new training grounds and facilities in proximity to the stadiums that will be used for the 2027 competition.

Construction on the schemes is expected to start in July 2024 and is expected to be completed by December 2025.

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