Buckle up, the world’s fastest roller coaster is coming to Saudi Arabia

Updated 29 August 2019

Buckle up, the world’s fastest roller coaster is coming to Saudi Arabia

  • The Falcon’s Flight ride will be one of the 28 attractions spread over a 32-hectare site at Qiddiya
  • The park will be operated by Six Flags, the world’s largest amusement-park company

QIDDIYA: Saudi Arabia’s first theme park will feature a record-breaking roller coaster inspired by the Arabian falcon that will be the longest, tallest and fastest in the world.

The Falcon’s Flight ride will be one of the 28 attractions spread over six themed “lands” on a 32-hectare site at Qiddiya, 40km west of Riyadh. Construction has already begun, and the park is expected to open early in 2023.

Inspired by Arabian heritage and culture, other signature attractions at the park will be the Sirocco Tower, the world’s tallest drop-tower ride, and the Sea Stallion, which propels riders over rivers, behind waterfalls and through trees along a custom-designed course as they control the speed and acceleration of their horse.

The park will be operated by Six Flags, the world’s largest amusement-park company, which was founded in Texas in 1961 and runs 26 entertainment centers across North America. 

Six Flags Qiddiya is expected to attract up to 15,000 visitors a day, and the operators have even made allowances for the scorching Saudi summer heat.

“There are 90 to 120 days when the weather is uncomfortable,” Six Flags International President David McKillips said on Sunday. “A strategy has been developed to operate 365 days a year, providing shade and using technologies like water misters to make the weather bearable.”

The theme park will create 800 full-time jobs, part of a total of 17,000 employment opportunities in the wider Qiddiya entertainment, lifestyle and culture project. By 2030 it is expected to be the world’s largest single tourism destination, covering a total area of 334 sq. km.


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.