Officials at the signing ceremony for the Six Flags theme park.

Saudi-based Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has awarded a SR3.75-billion ($998.6 million) contract to a joint venture of French building and civil engineering projects pioneer Bouygues Batiment International (BBI) and Saudi Almabani General Contractors for the construction of its Six Flags theme park, a first in the region.

The theme park will be a key destination in Qiddiya, the kingdom’s future capital of entertainment, sports and the arts, on the outskirts of Riyadh. It will cover an area of 320,000 sq m and feature 28 rides and attractions of which 10 will be thrill rides, and 18 rides designed for families and young children.

The agreement was signed during a ceremony attended by officials from both companies at the Qiddiya Experience Centre and was followed by a ground-breaking inauguration to simultaneously mark the official start of construction.

QIC Managing Director Abdullah Aldawood said: “With this signing, we are embarking on major steps towards building the kingdom’s future destination for entertainment, sports and the arts. We are pleased to collaborate with leading construction companies, like Bouygues Bâtiment International, and we look forward to build Six Flags Qiddiya together, delivering a world-class theme park with several exciting new ride concepts.”

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation President and CEO Selim Bassoul said: “We are pleased that our first theme park outside North America will be part of what will become the iconic entertainment destination in Saudi Arabia. Six Flags’ brand of thrills and entertainment is perfect for the youthful population around Riyadh and in the Middle East, and our park will help the city’s quest to become one of the best places to live in the world.”

BBI is a subsidiary of French construction giant Bouygues Construction (see Contractors feature in Gulf Construction’s Digital Edition).