Six Flags plays down Saudi theme park plan

Company spokesman says it is not planning Saudi theme park despite previous comments from CEO
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. (Getty Images)
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. (Getty Images)

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US theme parks operator Six Flags has reportedly denied reports that it is planning to open a resort in Saudi Arabia.

The company's CEO had been quoted as saying earlier this week that it was planning a partnership to bring roller coasters and bumper cars to the ultra-conservative kingdom.

But a Six Flags spokesman said that it was not planning a park in the country, citing a GCC-wide exclusivity deal with Dubai Parks and Resorts.

The spokesman told The National that it “has meetings with business and world leaders on an ongoing basis", adding that chief executive John Duffey had been honoured to be invited to a meeting with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss his vision for Saudi Arabia.

The spokesman was quoted as saying: “The only Middle East market where an agreement currently exists to open a Six Flags park is in Dubai and no agreement has been reached to open any parks elsewhere in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

“In fact, we have an exclusive partnership in the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, with Dubai Parks and Resorts."

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.

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are encouraging the development of theme parks to help boost foreign tourist arrivals as oil prices slump, causing an economic slowdown in the region.

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