Six Flags Over Theocracy


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CelebrityAccess) — Six Flags Entertainment Corp's announced plans to open the first of what would likely be three theme parks in the Middle Eastern nation of Saudi Arabia.

According to Reuters, the parks, which will likely be owned by the Saudi government, will cost between $300 and $500 million to build, and the first will likely be open in in 2020 or 2021. The first park would likely be built in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, with other parks under consideration for the resort city of Jeddah, as well as a second, unnamed Red Sea resort city.

"The parks are likely to be government-owned, although that's not guaranteed yet, because talks are still early and there can be changes," Six Flags executive chairman Jim Reid-Anderson told Reuters during a MiSK entrepreneurship forum in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Reid-Anderson told Reuters that it was 'too early' to discuss if the parks would be gender-segregated, but it seems likely as virtually every other public space is restricted. Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear long, obscuring robes, as well as veiled head coverings. They are also prohibited from driving, being in public without a chaperone, driving or even opening a bank account without permission.

These near chattel conditions for Saudi women may not be an issue for Six Flags to navigate however and the company has successfully launched branded theme parks in other gulf states, including two parks in neighboring Dubai. – Staff Writers