This massive theme park is eyeing an Asian expansion

Saudi Arabia is about to be taken on a wild ride. Source: Shutterstock

FOUNDED in 1961, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, also known as Six Flags Theme Parks or simply Six Flags, is the world’s largest regional theme park company, based on the number of properties owned.

Its name came from the six countries that had ruled over modern-day Texas since the 1500s.

Ranked seventh in terms of attendance, Six Flags has 26 parks across the US, Mexico, and Canada including theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, and a family entertainment center. The company hauls in US$1.5 billion in revenue and in 2017, its properties hosted 30.4 million guests.

For 58 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families and now, it is planning an Asian expansion. In particular, the company is bringing its world-class attractions to Saudi Arabia.

Last week, the American theme park company announced its theme park at Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s entertainment city. This would make it the first Six Flags theme park to open in the Middle East and the first many in the region.

The Six Flags theme park at Qiddiya will include 12 record-breaking attractions when it opens to the public in 2023, including The Falcon’s Flight, the world’s longest, tallest, and fastest roller coaster and Sirocco Tower, the world’s tallest drop-tower ride, Arabian Business reported. It is poised to be the most unique Six Flags theme park ever built

In speaking about the theme park, Six Flags CEO Jim Reid-Anderson said, “We feel very confident about the opening of the park in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia and our ability to continue to work with our partner there to not only build this park but potentially other parks.”

When asked which global locations Six Flags sees as the biggest emerging markets going forward, David McKillips, who manages the development of the company’s parks outside the US, said he is actively seeking partners in Asia to open more parks.

“We spent a lot of time talking to potential partners in Southeast Asia and I’m very keen on developing a theme park or theme parks in that particular area. We spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia. They’ve got a wonderful growing middle class which fits very nicely and they’re underserved in terms of entertainment options. So that’s really where we’re focused. As well as Japan and Korea are two other markets that would be of great interest for us as well,” Arabian Business quoted McKillips as saying.

Six Flags Qiddiya is scheduled to open sometime in 2023. The company also has 10 other parks under development in China.