Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Saudi Arabia's first theme park set to have world's fastest roller coaster

Six Flags Qiddiya has unveiled its park design

The first theme park in Saudi Arabia is set to have a host of record-breaking rides — including the world's fastest roller coaster.

Six Flags Qiddiya is being built as part of a new city outside Riyadh and is due for completion in 2023.

Its developer, Qiddiya Investment Company, unveiled the park design on Monday and said many rides will "set world records".

"The Falcon’s Flight, inspired by the kingdom’s iconic raptor, will be the longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, while the Sirocco Tower will break more records with the world’s tallest drop-tower ride," the company said.

The video clip shows the raptor being pulled up to an extreme height before speeding down what looks like an almost sheer drop.

The National has contacted the company for actual speeds and heights of the record-breaking rides.

The current world's fastest roller coaster is located at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, where Formula Rossa reaches a top speed of 240 kilometres per hour in only 4.9 seconds, with a force of 4.9Gs.

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

The lands have been designed "for Saudis of all ages who seek family entertainment experiences steeped in their rich culture and history".

Other notable rides include Sea Stallion located in the Discovery Springs land. This sees riders propelled over rivers, behind waterfalls and through trees, as the area aims to provide visitors with relief from the summer heat.

In the Steam Town land, the Iron Rattler Mine Train has a hydraulic lift which "releases passengers into a free fall plunge".

Michael Reininger, the company's chief executive, said, “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."

The Qiddiya entertainment development will also include motor sport facilities and a safari park as part of the country's Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to wean the kingdom off oil income and improve the lifestyle of its citizens.

Among the reforms introduced under the umbrella of Vision 2030 were allowing women to drive and lifting a ban on movie theatres.

The Qiddiya project broke ground in April last year and is being developed in three phases. This year is expected to see the launch of the Qiddiya Experience Centre and the start of construction of phase one.

Updated: August 28, 2019 03:23 PM

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