The first theme park devoted to the globally popular anime and manga series "Dragon Ball" is to start construction in Saudi Arabia, Toei Animation Co. said Friday.

The facility is set to cover over 500,000 square meters in Qiddiya, a cultural and entertainment city project being built on the outskirts of Riyadh, according to the company. Dates for either the start of construction or the completion of the park are yet to be announced.

Dragon Ball started as a manga comic series serialized from 1984 to 1995 following the adventures of protagonist Goku and his allies as they battle progressively stronger enemies. Its success in and out of Japan has spawned multiple anime series, films and extensive merchandise.

Photo shows a model of the mythical dragon Shenron statue and rollercoaster planned for construction in Saudi Arabia as the world's first "Dragon Ball" theme park, in Tokyo on March 22, 2024. (Kyodo)

The park will feature rides and attractions across seven zones themed on different parts of the Dragon Ball universe from its various television series, Toei Animation said.

Among the more than 30 attractions is the centerpiece roller coaster to be built into a 70-meter tall recreation of Shenron, the mythical dragon who can grant a wish to anyone who collects all seven of the titular dragon balls.

The announcement comes just weeks after series creator Akira Toriyama died aged 68 on March 1 of a brain hematoma. His death prompted an outpouring of grief in Japan and across the world.

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