Saudi Arabia has always done things in a big way. Over the last two years, it has set some big goals for itself, which has resulted in a wave of reforms targeted at enhancing the quality of life for its citizens, amongst other goals, and has shot it into international headlines many times. This go-big mentality often seeps into the more fun aspects of the country, which is today known for breaking a number of world records, such as in 2018 when it set the world's largest rubber water park in Al-Khobar.
This week, Saudi Arabia is making headlines again for another big, landmark, neck-breaking endeavor: it is working on creating the world's longest, tallest, and fastest roller coaster ride! According to Gulf News, Six Flags, which is a renowned theme park operator from the United States, announced that the roller coaster is amongst 12 record-breaking attractions set to launch in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s upcoming mega theme park. The news site quoted David McKillips, who is Six Flags’ Senior Vice President of International Park Operations, as saying that Qiddiya will be “the most unique Six Flags theme park ever built.”
Set to open in 2023, Qiddiya is reported to have 28 major rides and attractions across six themed lands including, The City of Thrills, Discovery Springs, Steam Town, Twilight Gardens, Valley of Fortune, and Grand Exposition. The City of Thrills will house two of the park’s major record-breaking rides, one being The Falcon’s Flight, the world’s longest, tallest, fastest roller coaster, set to dethrone the world's current fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa at the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, which has a top speed of 240 km/h.
Over the past two years, Saudi Arabia has been working on developing its entertainment, arts, culture, and heritage sectors in an attempt to provide its citizens with more options to have fun at home, as well as to create more job opportunities for its youth. Qiddiya comes as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to develop its entertainment sector under the objectives of Vision 2030, a national strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s current oil-dependent economy. By bringing entertainment home, the Kingdom is reportedly aiming to recapture about 30 billion USD spent annually on tourism and entertainment by Saudi Arabians outside the Kingdom.