Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. The company which has been operating for almost six decades boasts of world-class coasters, themed rides and thrilling waterparks. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company have announced plans to develop a Six Flags-branded theme park in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“Six Flags has entered into an arrangement with the PIF to develop, design and license the Six Flags brand for Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s first entertainment, sports and cultural destination expected to open in 2022,” the company said in a statement.

The company that has been operating for almost six decades boasts of world-class coasters, themed rides and thrilling waterparks.

“Innovation is synonymous with the Six Flags brand, and our international licensing business provides a unique opportunity to continue our strong global growth,” David McKillips, President of Six Flags International Development Company, said. “We see great potential in the Saudi Arabian market and look forward to collaborating with the PIF to create a world-class entertainment destination for Saudi Arabia’s young and dynamic population.”

Located 40km from downtown Riyadh, Qiddiya will provide “unprecedented” leisure option for millions of visitors, the statement promised.

According to Six Flags, the vision of Qiddiya is to be the iconic entertainment destination of the Kingdom and the home of activity, discovery and engagement.

Visitors will have access to recreational and educational facilities across six innovatively designed clusters: Theme Parks; Wheels and Wings; Scenic and Animal Encounters; Water and Snow; Sports; Events, Culture and Education.

“The entertainment sector has an important role to play in the transformation of Saudi Arabia’s economy,” PIF was quoted as saying.

“The Six Flags-branded theme park in Riyadh and other similar developments will create new employment opportunities and harness the talent, energy and imagination of Saudi youth. Our investment in this sector is in line with our mission and delivers on a key element of Vision 2030.”

Vision 2030 was launched as an ambitious drive to reduce dependence on oil, boost the economy, create jobs for young Saudi men and women and open up society. Investments in various sectors include entertainment.

Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said that by partnering with a global leader, something exceptional will be delivered.

“Our goal is to create an exciting one-of-a-kind destination that will draw visitors from throughout Saudi Arabia to experience record-breaking roller coasters, innovative rides and attractions, as well as the sporting and cultural facilities that Qiddiya will offer.”

Qiddiya ground-breaking is scheduled for this year and the first phase of the development will be launched in 2022.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has 20 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada and revenues of $1.4 billion.