Six Flags plans fastest roller coaster rides in Saudi Arabia


Qiddiya Six Flags roller coaster Image: Qiddiya / Six Flags

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company has unveiled the much-anticipated masterplan for Qiddiya, the “Giga-Project” being constructed on the doorstep of Riyadh that will deliver on many of the goals of the Vision 2030, according to media reports.

Qiddiya, will include twelve record-breaking attractions when it opens to the public in 2023, including the world’s longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster and the world’s tallest drop-tower ride, Arabian Business reported.

Qiddiya is set to become the kingdom’s “Capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts”, with facilities and experiences that will bring together new opportunities and exposure at a scale and format never before seen, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

In a ceremony in Riyadh on August 26, American theme park operator Six Flags unveiled the designs for its park in Qiddiya, which David McKillips, who manages development of the company’s parks outside the United States, said it will be “the most unique Six Flags theme park ever built”.

“Well here’s what I’ll tell you. There will be twelve world record-breaking rides that will be inside this park. Two of them include in an area called the City of Thrills… Two of the rides are just spectacular. We are going to be debuting the longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster of the world,” he told Arabian Business.

Six Flags Qiddiya will cover 32 hectares and include 28 rides and attractions across six themed lands including The City of Thrills, Discovery Springs, Steam Town, Twilight Gardens, Valley of Fortune and Grand Exposition.

Within The City of Thrills will be two of the major record-breaking rides: The Falcon’s Flight, inspired by the kingdom’s famous raptor, will be the longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, while the Sirocco Tower will be the world’s tallest drop-tower ride.

The Citadel, a central hub area, will be covered by a billowing canopy form inspired by traditional Bedouin tents and McKillips said this was reflective of the park’s plans to embrace its local Saudi surroundings.

“So if you look at all 13 regions within Saudi Arabia it was really important for us to have a reflection within the landscape, within the food, within the retail… to really speak to you through the storytelling,” he said. “In fact we have had a Saudi and a Saudi voice as part of every single design and development phase of the park so far.”

By bringing together the elements for an active, healthy and ambitious lifestyle, Qiddiya will generate enormous economic opportunities, and thousands of new jobs that will prompt the development of new sectors, contributing to a diversified and prosperous economy, Al-Awsat stated.

“The people of Saudi Arabia share the universal desire for enriching experiences, and our plan allows Qiddiya to unlock access to these experiences in a new and culturally relevant way, encouraging personal and professional pursuits that foster enrichment,” the report quoted Michael Reininger, Chief Executive Officer of Qiddiya Investment Company, as saying.

The masterplan, planned in association with Denmark-based Bjarke Ingles Group, was created with careful consideration to the natural patterns that have been etched on the site throughout history, giving rise to a green-belt network carrying visitors throughout the property on roads, bike paths and walkways built within an enhanced landscape environment.

“Our vision is to make Six Flags Qiddiya a theme park that delivers all the thrills and excitement that audiences from all over the world have come to expect from the Six Flags brand, and to elevate those experiences with authentic themes connected to the location. As a place that will create indelible memories and moments of delight, telling stories that resonate with our guests is a central notion that will be evident throughout Qiddiya,” Reininger said in a press statement.

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