Saudi Public Investment Fund signs agreement with Six Flags to create amusement park in Riyadh

Updated 05 April 2018
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Saudi Public Investment Fund signs agreement with Six Flags to create amusement park in Riyadh

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has signed an agreement with Six Flags to develop and design an amusement park in Riyadh.
Six Flags, the world’s leading international amusement park company, will develop and design the park in Qiddiya, the country's first entertainment, sports and cultural destination set to open in 2022.
The development is part of Saudi Arabia's vision to promote culture and entertainment and attract local and international investors to the sector.
Commenting on the agreement, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “Qiddiya, a key project within the Kingdom’s entertainment sector, will play an important role in the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economy and the realization of the ambitions of Vision 2030. The first Six Flags-branded
amusement park in the Kingdom forms another part of the development of the sector which will help to create jobs and opportunities for Saudi young people,”
For his part, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, Michael Reininger said that “By partnering with a global leader in this sector, we know that we are going to deliver something exceptional that will enrich the daily lives of those living here. With nearly two thirds of the Saudi population under the age of 35, there is a huge appetite
in the Kingdom for amusement parks such as this one, as well as the other sporting and cultural facilities that Qiddiya will offer.”
On the agreement, David McKillips, President of Six Flags International Development Company has also commented saying that "Innovation is synonymous with our Six Flags brand, and our international licensing business provides a unique opportunity to continue our strong global growth. We see great potential in the Saudi Arabian market and look forward to collaborating with PIF to create a world-class entertainment destination for Saudi’s young and dynamic population.”


Fast track to Hajj on Jakarta’s ‘Makkah Road’

Updated 18 July 2018
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Fast track to Hajj on Jakarta’s ‘Makkah Road’

  • A fast-track clearance for Indonesian Hajj pilgrims has been opened at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport
  • The initiative comes as the first groups of pilgrims left from six Indonesian cities, including the capital

JAKARTA: A fast-track clearance for Indonesian Hajj pilgrims — known as the “Makkah Road” — has been opened at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport.
The initiative comes as the first groups of pilgrims left from six Indonesian cities, including the capital.
Indonesian and Saudi officials, including Osama bin Mohammed Al-Shuaibi, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Indonesia, were present at the official launch of the fast-track facility on Tuesday.
Airport operator Angkasa Pura has installed 20 booths to process Hajj pilgrims, with each counter manned by two Saudi immigration officers.
“This is the first time the immigration process has taken place in Jakarta, so they will not have to go through custom clearance on arrival in Saudi Arabia and can go directly to their buses, which will take them to their accommodation, while their luggage will be handled and delivered directly to their respective hotels,” Al-Shuaibi said.
“This is a step to improve our Hajj services. We have introduced it this year at Jakarta, where about 60,000 pilgrims are expected to depart. We will introduce it in four cities next time and eventually we hope to introduce it all Hajj embarkations in Indonesia,” he said.
The envoy said that about 400 pilgrims underwent the fast-track clearance in an hour at the airport on Tuesday.
“We appreciate King Salman’s initiative that makes the pilgrims’ journey much easier. It shows that we have a deep and close relation,” Indonesia’s Minister of Social Affairs, Idrus Marham, said.
Director-General of Hajj and Umrah at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Nizar Ali, said that 4,486 pilgrims had left from Surakarta, Surabaya, Jakarta, Padang, Makassar and Lombok. More than 221,000 pilgrims are expected to leave Indonesia this year, with the last departure on Aug. 14.
Garuda, the Indonesian airline, expects to fly as many as 108,000 pilgrims in 280 groups from around the country.
Among the 393 pilgrims who left Jakarta was 91-year-old Mohammad Hasan Saad, from East Jakarta, the oldest person in the group.
Hanif Fakri, a member of the medical staff assisting the group, said that Saad was making his second pilgrimage after his first Hajj in 2012.
Hanafi bin Dogol, a 50-year-old pilgrim from East Jakarta, told Arab News that he been on a seven-year waiting list waiting for his chance to go on Hajj.
“I have been practicing and learning the rituals. I hope I can accomplish the pilgrimage in the most favorable manner,” he said.