Saudi-based Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has awarded a SR3.75 billion ($998.6 million) contract to a joint venture of building and civil engineering projects pioneer Bouygues Batiment International (BBI) and Saudi Almabani General Contractors, for the construction of its Six Flags theme park, a first in the region.
As the kingdom’s future capital of entertainment, sports and the arts, visitors to Qiddiya will enjoy a wide spectrum of offerings that include sports and wellness; nature and environment; parks and attractions; motion and mobility; and arts and culture.
Situated on the outskirts of the Saudi capital, Qiddiya is a destination city that is currently under development and when open, will become a disruptive destination that offers innovative experiences in entertainment, sports and arts.
Six Flags Qiddiya will serve to be a key entertainment attraction for Qiddiya and the city of Riyadh. The theme park will cover an area of 320,000 sq m and will feature 28 rides and attractions of which 10 will be thrill rides, with 18 rides designed for families and young children.
The agreement was signed during a ceremony attended by officials from both companies at the Qiddiya Experience Centre and was followed by a ground-breaking inauguration to simultaneously mark the official start of construction.
QIC Managing Director Abdullah Aldawood said: "With this signing, we are embarking on major steps towards building the kingdom’s future destination for entertainment, sports and the arts. We are pleased to collaborate with leading construction companies, like Bouygues Bâtiment International, and we look forward to build Six Flags Qiddiya together, delivering a world-class theme park with several exciting new ride concepts."
"Six Flags Qiddiya will be a key entertainment attraction for Riyadh, the Kingdom and the world at large," he stated.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation President and CEO Selim Bassoul said: "We are pleased that our first theme park outside North America will be part of what will become the iconic entertainment destination in Saudi Arabia. Six Flags’ brand of thrills and entertainment is perfect for the youthful population around Riyadh and in the Middle East, and our park will help the city’s quest to become one of the best places to live in the world."
BBI, a subsidiary of French construction giant Bouygues Construction, expressed delight at winning the contract.
"We are grateful to have been selected with our partner Almabani for the Six Flags theme park at the Qiddiya giga-project, which will become a major entertainment hub in the Middle East. Six Flags Qiddiya is an incredible opportunity for BBI to express our expertise both in terms of supporting our Client with export finance solutions and of construction of complex infrastructures," remarked its CEO Pierre-Eric Saint-André.
BBI began its journey in Saudi Arabia in 1975 at Jeddah, followed a few years later with the construction of the King Saud University of Riyadh.
"We are proud to be given the chance to continue this journey almost 50 years after it started. We are particularly delighted to take part in the country's transformation plan and we are determined to have a positive impact while making Six Flags Qiddiya a landmark in the world of entertainment," he added.
Almabani General Contractors CEO Joseph Daher said: "Over the years, we have worked with leading names in Saudi Arabia across various sectors - be it housing, aviation, military, power or transportation. To be awarded the construction contract to build a first-of-its-kind theme park in the Kingdom is a great honour – and we are thrilled to be on board with Qiddiya."
"We are pleased that the development of this park will be aligned with the sustainability goals of Saudi Vision 2030, as that is very important to us. We look forward to working together to build this incredible project," he added.
The theme park will be home to five signature rides that will break ten world records including: Falcons Flight, the world’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster; Sirocco Tower, the world’s tallest, free-standing shot tower ride; Gyrospin, the world’s tallest pendulum ride; Spitfire, the world’s tallest inverted top hat coaster; and Iron Rattler, the world’s tallest tilt coaster.
The rides and attractions at the theme park will be spread across six immersive lands: The City of Thrills, Discovery Springs, Steam Town, Twilight Gardens, Valley of Fortune and Grand Exposition.
The central hub of the park will be the Citadel which will be covered by a billowing canopy form inspired by traditional Bedouin tents. Home to a wide range of cafes and shops, the venue will transform into an interactive show space throughout the day. From here, visitors will find gateways to each of the themed lands.
The City of Thrills is the embodiment of Vision 2030: a forward-looking, boundary-pushing, future city anchored in Arabic design motifs. Here, visitors will find Six Flags Qiddiya’s most recognizable and anticipated thrill rides including the record-breaking Falcons Flight, inspired by the Kingdom’s iconic raptor and the Sirocco Tower.
Discovery Springs is an aquatic wonderland of waterfalls, aqueducts and geysers as well as exotic plants and trees. This oasis offers visitors relief from the summer heat by creating the feel of a dense rainforest in the middle of the desert. It will be home to an interactive ride called the Sea Stallion, where riders are propelled over rivers, behind waterfalls, and through trees along a custom-designed course, as they control the speed and acceleration of their vehicle.
Steam Town is themed around mechanical marvels and a collection of dynamic contraptions. Its signature ride is the Iron Rattler Mine Train which features a hydraulic lift that releases passengers into a freefall plunge through a narrow, steam-filled mineshaft. Other key attractions include the Steam Town Falls Water Coaster which combines a roller coaster track with a splashing boat ride, a spinning mechanical ride called the Bull Rider and a custom-themed climbing structure called the Treehouse Trek.
Twilight Gardens is an oversized landscape of the imagination filled with colorful flowers and friendly creatures, all exclusively designed for younger visitors and their families. This enchanted land’s key features include the Twilight Express Coaster, which takes passengers through a majestic garden, the Critter Chase, an interactive dark ride set in a 3D environment, and the Kaleidoscope hot air balloon ride.
Valley of Fortune is an exciting land of adventure that takes place amidst time-worn architectural ruins of old Arabian masonry, enlivened by the activity and trade of fortune seekers from around the world. This land’s signature attraction is Spitfire, a triple-launch coaster, which will take guests into a sky roll before an acrobatic stall and a breathtaking dive back to the valley floor. Other attractions include Skywatch, a hydraulic boom ride where riders are lifted into the sky, the auto-themed Treasure Trail, and the Canyon Charters, a family plane ride that swings and rotates freely above the park.
Grand Exposition is a celebration of innovation combining the nostalgia of traditional World Expos with the greatest feats of science and technology such as the Gyrospin Pendulum, which swings riders to record heights. It is also home to Six Flags’ classic and most loved coaster Colossus, a gravity-driven wood-steel hybrid coaster that stretches over an 800-meter track. The land also features the Arabian Carousel, where Arabian horses march in a circular parade, the Expo Flyer swinging ride and the Roundabout featuring a bumper car attraction themed as London cabs.
According to QIC, the Six Flags' master plan has been carefully designed to ensure the guest experience is unparalleled and memorable.
All rides and attractions have been designed exclusively for Qiddiya and embody the rich cultural heritage of the location as well as Saudi Arabia, it added.

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