Saudi Arabia is an ambitious nation with a vision! More specific Vision 2030. With this national blueprint they are building on a vibrant society and a thriving economy with a strong focus on tourism and recreation. One of the main projects to realize this is Qiddiya, which is set to be the future capital of entertainment, sports and arts. The iconic entertainment destination, launching in 2023, includes impressive plans for theme parks, water parks and a wide variety of cultural attractions.
A first major realization was revealed to the public with a giant mountainside projection on the Tuwaiq mountains during the closing ceremony for the Dakar rally 2020. Initially, the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) reached out to Martin Professional with the request to visualize a Qiddiya logo of roughly 100 by 100 meters on the face of the iconic mountain cliff. Martin Professional immediately suggested the use of Barco projectors, knowing their high brightness capabilities and outstanding color performances over a long lifetime have proven to deliver stunning results for previous projects.
An on-site mockup was built for the customer with two UDX projectors to demonstrate the technological capacities. The results were so convincing, and the decision was made to extend the UDX projection coverage to 440 meter wide. The Barco projection mapping specialists of the Middle East offices joined forces with the design team of Martin Professional and executed a comprehensive projection study and a high-resolution laser scanning of the mountain. Ultimately 84 (!) UDX-W40s were used to transform the mountain surface into a dramatic backdrop.
The challenges of projecting a uniform image on a natural canvas with an irregular structure are manifold. The key factor to success was the active collaboration between Barco and the other involved parties throughout the entire journey – teaming up together from prior studies of the mountain, to content design, projection setups with specially developed mounting kits and eventually the live show. In the end onlookers were amazed with the mind-blowing result.
“Given the scale of this project and the time-window of 60 days to finish, we realized that there will be some serious challenges ahead of us. But our team worked day and night to break all the walls we hit during the implementation. Seeing those 84 projectors producing a single blended image on the cliff for the first time was a breathtaking and unforgettable moment. It was all worth it,” says Bilal Assidi, Martin Professional Sales Manager.
After this fantastic accomplishment, we are looking forward to doing more projects with Barco as a preferred partner for projectors for Qiddiya. To be continued.