Welcome to the Magic Kingdom

My friend introduced me to the ‘Magic Kingdom’ moniker for Saudi Arabia last year. It immediately conjured up memories of the first time I visited Disney World in the 1980s and being enthralled by the visions of the future showcased at Epcot Centre, complete with holographic telephones and robot butlers.

I think that was the last time I saw a hologram in real life. But last winter, arriving again in Riyadh after being away for more than 6 months, I was pleasantly surprised to land in the brand spanking new King Khalid International Airport arrivals area – complete with a projected image of a customs officer welcoming us to Saudi Arabia. OK, not quite a hologram, but close? It’s a Small World After All was in my head all the way through to the baggage carousel. Welcome to the Magic Kingdom, indeed.

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