Fawaz Alhokair Group celebrated on Friday January 16, 2015 the official opening of the first KidZania in Saudi Arabia, located at Mall of Arabia in Jeddah.
KidZania is described as the world’s fastest-growing edutainment brand, introducing kids to more than 80 careers in an indoor replica of a real-life city, complete with kid-sized streets, buildings, utilities and vehicles. Poised to become an educational landmark, KidZania Jeddah endeavors to empower, inspire and entertain children aged 4-14 throughout Saudi Arabia.
KidZania Jeddah offers as many as 100 role-playing activities at more than 60 establishments with a range of difficulty levels to meet the abilities and interests of each child. Kids can choose to pay for goods and services with KidZania’s own currency or they can choose to work.
The attraction puts children in a pint-sized, kid friendly city, allowing them to role play and test drive careers of every kind – from pilots navigate airplanes, TV anchors, firemen, chefs, doctors, police officers, journalists, shopkeepers, etc.
KidZania is a city just for kids, complete with a hospital, fire station, beauty salon, bank, radio station, supermarket, television station, pizzeria and theater. Kids are paid for their work in KidZos, the official currency of KidZania.
The opening ceremony was held at Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, and was attended by Xavier Lopez, the international executive chairman and the founder of KidZania in Mexico, as well as Eng. Salman Alhokair, Stuart Breakwood , CEO of Kidzania Jeddah, Maged Al Najjar, Kidzania General Manager, Iman Bakr, Marketing Manager, social figures and media representatives.
“The opening of KidZania Jeddah exemplifies how families from around the world have embraced the KidZania concept – a progressive and interactive role-play experience that challenges, inspires and readies kids to create a better world,” said Xavier Lopez Ancona, president and founder of KidZania. “In this new attraction, we celebrate both the meteoric growth of our company as well as the diverse and vibrant culture of Saudi Arabia.”
Meanwhile, Eng. Salman Alhokair, said during the official opening “We are honored and delighted to join the ever-growing KidZania nation, where children can imagine a better world and become global citizens through their experiences at our park.”
He noted that the edutainment programs will empower, enrich the self-esteem, and bolster the leadership skills of Saudi kids and other young visitors visiting from other parts of Makkah region.
He further said “Saudi Arabia is ready for an edutainment concept like KidZania and I’m hopeful that it will provide new opportunities to the kids to shape their future.”
KidZania was conceptualized and developed by Xavier López Ancona, its current CEO. The first KidZania opened in September 1999 in Santa Fe Shopping Mall in Mexico City, Mexico.
Jeddah is the 17th operational center of KidZania in the world, as Saudi Arabia joins Chile, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, India, Kuwait, Cairo, Istanbul and UAE.