Six Flags aiming to open first Saudi theme park by 2021

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. executive chairman Jim Reid-Anderson speaking at the MiSK entrepreneurship forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. (MISK Global Forum photo)
Updated 16 November 2016

Six Flags aiming to open first Saudi theme park by 2021

RIYADH: Six Flags Entertainment Corp’s expansion into Saudi Arabia will probably include three parks, with the first to open in 2020 or 2021, its executive chairman said on Tuesday.
 
The parks, which each cost between $300 and $500 million to build, will likely be owned by the Saudi government, Jim Reid-Anderson told Reuters on the sidelines of the MiSK entrepreneurship forum in Riyadh.
 
“The parks are likely to be government-owned, although that’s not guaranteed yet, because talks are still early and there can be changes,” he said.
 
The first park is tentatively planned for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city, he said. Others may follow in Jeddah and at a resort elsewhere on the western Red Sea coast.
 
A waiver from Dubai Parks and Resorts, which holds exclusive rights to develop and operate Six Flags-branded theme parks in the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), would enable the Saudi parks to carry the Six Flags name, he said.
 
US-based Six Flags announced in June that it had begun talks with the Saudi government to build theme parks as part of the kingdom’s efforts to expand its entertainment sector and diversify the economy.
 
Developing the leisure sector is fraught with difficulties in Saudi Arabia, which adheres to a strict social code where women are required to wear plain loose-fitting robes, cinemas are banned and public spaces are gender-segregated.
 
Reid-Anderson said it was too early to say whether the Six Flags parks would be segregated or whether there would be any restrictions placed on women’s access to the rides, which elsewhere include roller coasters and water slides.
 
“We’re at the research phase,” he said, but added there was “great support” for the project from its Saudi partners.
 
He also said he would be open to an eventual listing on the Saudi stock exchange, noting successes with both Dubai Parks’ local listing and Six Flags’ stock options program for US employees.
 
“It’s very early to prescribe a listing,” he said. “But in time, it’s definitely something we can do.”
 
Six Flags operates approximately 20 theme and water parks in North America and signed an agreement with a private Ho Chi Minh City-based company in March to open two parks in Vietnam.


Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

Updated 10 July 2020

Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

  • There is significant damage to the reservoirs and infrastructure
  • A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker

TUNIS: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on all oil exports on Friday as a first tanker loaded at Es Sider after a half-year blockade by eastern forces, but said technical problems caused by the shutdown would keep output low.
“The increase in production will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17,” NOC said in a statement.
A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker, chartered by Vitol, which two sources at Es Sider port said had docked and started loading on Friday morning.
The blockade, which was imposed by forces in eastern Libya loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), has cost the country $6.5 billion in lost export revenue, NOC said.
“Our infrastructure has suffered lasting damage, and our focus now must be on maintenance and securing a budget for the work to be done,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
Control over Libya’s oil infrastructure, the richest prize for competing forces in the country, and access to revenues, has become an ever-more significant factor in the civil war.
The internationally recognized Government of National Accord, supported by Turkey, has recently pushed back the LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, from the environs of Tripoli and pushed toward Sirte, near the main oil terminals.