Pico Play appoints Project Director to drive growth in the Middle East

Hadi Salahat, Pico Play's inaugural Project Director for the Middle East, is spearheading growth with new themed attraction projects aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and supported by a new fabrication facility in Riyadh.
Written by
Belinda Seeney
Published on
04th July, 2024

Growth, optimism and the chance to make an impact in a burgeoning market drew respected industry trailblazer Hadi Salahat to Pico Play.

Mr Salahat was appointed Pico Play’s inaugural Project Director for the Middle East in April, bringing extensive experience across high-end theming projects in the region.

His experience spans Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the first Ferrari-branded theme park in the world, and Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park, as well as The Green Planet Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s Center of Curiosity Museum.

Pico Play Executive Director Darren McLean said Mr Salahat’s appointment laid the groundwork for accelerated growth in the region by the company, a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment

“With his impressive background in the region and extensive experience in theming projects – including theme parks, high-rises, hotels, and residential projects – Hadi is set to lead us to new heights in creating immersive and engaging fun experiences,” Mr McLean says.

Hadi and Darren
Hadi Salahat, Project Director and Darren McLean, Executive Director

Mr Salahat said Pico Play supported Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s program of economic reform and diversification.

“We’re looking for people interested in working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because themed attractions and entertainment is a booming industry here so it’s a really exciting time for theming and attraction specials who are aligned with this Vision,” he says.

“Pico Play is working on some of the first big attraction projects in the Kingdom so we’re one of the first companies to show our capabilities in this field and set a benchmark.

“The work we are doing is special and will be signature projects for every employee, something they can put on their CVs and say proudly, ‘I worked on that’.”

While the exact details remain firmly under wraps, Mr Salahat reveals Pico Play has won multiple contracts for the design, fabrication and fit-out of several themed attractions in entertainment destinations across the Kingdom.

These new projects follow Pico Play’s work designing and building sets and theming for an attraction at the soon-to-open Six Flags Qiddiya theme park.

In tandem with the company’s head office growth is a significant recruitment drive to populate Pico Play’s new fabrication facility in Riyadh which is due to open by September 2024.

More than 150 staff including artists, carvers, painters, general labourers, specialist tradespeople and project managers will work on the company’s themed entertainment and attraction projects in the Kingdom.

Middle East Staff
New staff Middle East

Mr McLean says the 4000sqm facility is the company’s third fabrication site globally.

“Our new Riyadh development will complement our existing fabrication facilities in Malaysia and Vietnam and help us quickly and efficiently deliver a full range of end-to-end fabrication services for our projects in the Kingdom,” Mr McLean says.

“From this new base, we can offer services including steel fabrication, CNC milling, scenic painting, signage and graphics, sculpting, staging and assembly of the completed themed fabrication.”

Mr Salahat recently toured both facilities and praised Pico Play’s workflow processes and the teams’ efficiency and professionalism.

“In particular, Vietnam’s L-shaped facility layout and the quality of the artistry impressed me. From the first step to the end step, the fabrication process progressed seamlessly; no time was wasted,” he says.

“This way of working is a new process for the Middle East as most fabrication is done in situ on work sites.

“I can see Pico Play’s new Riyadh facility streamlining the fabrication process and providing a very high-quality product and excellent end-to-end service for our Middle East projects.”

Hadi at Fabrication Facility Hai Duong, Vietnam

Encouraging Pico Play’s growth and optimism in the region is Saudi Vision 2030, which identifies tourism and leisure as its priority areas.

“Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly the biggest growth market for the attraction industry globally; there is nowhere else in the world that has so much attraction development underway,” Mr McLean says.

“There is a sense of excitement and energy in the Kingdom and we are delivering outstanding results and driving innovation in the attractions industry.”

For more information about Saudi Vision 2023, visit