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Six Flags Qiddiya (Saudi Arabia) Discussion Thread

P. 4: Philippe Gas appointed as Qiddiya CEO

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Yeah, while I don't think we should put much stock into the actual park design if the park is actually being built in a ridge like that (and based on the Google maps pin it seems that it is), then this will be an incredibly cool and unique location for a theme park.

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Obviously super early schematic artwork at this point, but if the idea here is that there's an enormous record breaking coaster that dives off that 200m tall cliff, this is for sure something to follow in the coming years.

 

The concept artwork is nice looking as well in general. If they achieve the vibe in each area shown this will be a great new park. I like the creativity of areas with unique themes that aren't necessarily tied to any existing IP.

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According to a Forbes article on this very announcement, the country doesn't even offer tourist visas.

 

Article

 

It literally says in the next sentence they are due to begin issuing them soon. This park is due in 2023. Lets not be so quick to worry about this or post this without saying the whole story...

 

Edit -> I see this guy's stupid post is now gone. Yay!

 

That high res concept art of the area is really cool. The setting and entire entertainment complex could be really special. For those that have been to Sentosa (Singapore) could this be the Sentosa Island of the Middle East? So far I have enjoyed my visits to Dubai and Qatar and it's awesome to see the modernization and focus on tourism.

 

Looking closer, the individual areas of the park proposed also is really promising...I really like the unique ideas and ride concepts. Saw the video of the tilt coaster - holy crap! Yes please.

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One interesting program that hasn't been as widely publicized is the introduction of a Saudi-sponsored scholarship program to send students to hospitality management school in Florida with Six Flags then providing a myriad of internship opportunities in order to create a strong Qiddiya leadership team. I think it's a great idea for the park! (Article Here)

 

It'll be interesting to see how the tourism industry continues to grow in that region, and the licensing fees Six Flags receives from the international parks division will only lead to a stronger company domestically, which is something all enthusiasts should get excited for!

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According to a Forbes article on this very announcement, the country doesn't even offer tourist visas.

 

Article

 

More telling in the article is the analysis of Saudi Arabia's ambitious $100 Billion tourism goal for 2030

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I had no plans to ever visit Saudi Arabia but if this gets built and opens that will change. The renderings look amazing and even if only ¼ of what's in it gets built it will be amazing. I love the setting with the cliffs around it - I hope that's the location they end up using. I also noticed a race track in one of the renderings that a pedestrian bridge crosses over and the Falcon's Fury coaster goes by. Is that going to be an actual race track like Formula 1, or is it a go cart or Autopia or racing type of ride? If they got an actual Formula 1 race track there with races that would really add to the entertainment city.

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I had no plans to ever visit Saudi Arabia but if this gets built and opens that will change. The renderings look amazing and even if only ¼ of what's in it gets built it will be amazing. I love the setting with the cliffs around it - I hope that's the location they end up using. I also noticed a race track in one of the renderings that a pedestrian bridge crosses over and the Falcon's Fury coaster goes by. Is that going to be an actual race track like Formula 1, or is it a go cart or Autopia or racing type of ride? If they got an actual Formula 1 race track there with races that would really add to the entertainment city.

It technically could be both. The cars on track are Formula One cars from all ages. I definitely saw cars from Senna, Vettel, Mansell and Hamilton. With Liberty Media expading to so many new places, I wouldn't wonder if there are plans to go to Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, it's only a rendering. So it may be only a tracked ride themed to formula one with the tracks being left out of the rendering.

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Qiddiya Investment Company has announced that Philippe Gas has been appointed as their CEO effect November 29th, 2020. Philippe Gas comes from a 30-year tenure with The Walt Disney Company, most notably holding executive leadership roles overseeing Euro Disney/Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disneyland. Qiddiya is the company behind Six Flags Qiddiya in Saudia Arabia, which is slated to open as part of the first phase of Qiddiya in 2023.

philippe-gas.thumb.jpg.7a892c29786fc4317b6c2bad32678e80.jpg

Qiddiya Investment Company announces the appointment of Philippe Gas to the position of Chief Executive Officer effective 29 November 2020. Qiddiya is Saudi Arabia’s future capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts guided directly by the inspired leadership of His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Qiddiya, as a keystone of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s blueprint for long-term prosperity.

Mr. Gas brings a wealth of experience to the role, moving into the position from a 30-year tenure with The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently served as President & Managing Director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan & Disneyland International. Before moving into this global leadership role, Philippe was the Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney SCA, the first tourism destination in Europe, for seven years and then successfully led the launch of Shanghai Disney Resort, The Walt Disney Company’s first theme park in mainland China and its largest international investment to date.

His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism and a Board Member and the General Secretary of Qiddiya’s Board of Directors, commented on the appointment: “The Qiddiya giga-project sits at the core of the future of Saudi Arabian entertainment. Philippe has an impressive international track record of delivering world-class entertainment destination experiences and leading large organizations, which makes him the right person to oversee this next, crucial phase of development as we rapidly journey toward the much-anticipated Grand Opening of Qiddiya. I want to thank Michael Reininger for laying the foundation for our future success with his steadfast leadership over the past few years and on behalf of the whole Qiddiya team I wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

“Qiddiya is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to develop an unforgettable offering that will transform entertainment for an entire region and create cherished memories for current and future generations. I am grateful to His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman and the Qiddiya Board of Directors for entrusting me with this prestigious responsibility. The Qiddiya team has delivered a lot in a short amount of time and it is my honor to take the helm at this critical juncture so that together, we can launch an incredible new entertainment experience to the world,” Philippe Gas added. 

Mr. Gas replaces founding CEO Michael Reininger, who will remain for a handover and advisory period before departing Qiddiya Investment Company after nearly three years of dedicated service and overseeing delivery of several key project milestones. Mr. Reininger’s entrepreneurial skillset has been instrumental in seeding the foundation of Qiddiya and in the last three years, he has put together successful project teams in anticipation of this planned transition. 

About Qiddiya Investment Company:

Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) is driving the development of Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s Capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. As a core tenet of Vision 2030, Qiddiya has a dual economic and social purpose: to advance economic diversification and unlock new professional pathways while enriching lives of youth in the Kingdom.

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced the project on April 7, 2017. Ground-Breaking took place on April 28, 2018 and the company, Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), was incorporated as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by PIF, on May 10, 2018. 

In 2020, Qiddiya progressed from planning to construction phase, with site preparation works currently underway.

Qiddiya is located south-west of Riyadh on a site that spans 366 sq.km. Phase one is set to open in 2023.

Visitors will enjoy activities across five cornerstones: Sports & Wellness; Nature & Environment; Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture. Development of these areas will give rise to family-friendly theme parks; sports venues suitable for international competitions; academies for sports and the arts; concert and entertainment venues; racetracks and grandstands for motorsport enthusiasts; outdoor and adventure activities alongside nature and environment experiences; and historical, cultural and educational activities. Qiddiya will also include a variety of real estate options and community services.

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On 11/6/2020 at 7:26 AM, jedimaster1227 said:

Mr. Gas brings a wealth of experience to the role, moving into the position from a 30-year tenure with The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently served as President & Managing Director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan & Disneyland International. Before moving into this global leadership role, Philippe was the Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney SCA, the first tourism destination in Europe, for seven years and then successfully led the launch of Shanghai Disney Resort, The Walt Disney Company’s first theme park in mainland China and its largest international investment to date.

I know nothing about this guy outside of this article, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong in this assessment -

He was the CEO of Disneyland Paris Resort, easily the worst Disney resort by a long shot.  The parks are trash with pretty themeing.  The hotels are trash with...themeing?  The restaurants are trash (thank god for Earl Of Sandwich).  The only reason I returned to DLP after my initial visit was literally to get on the bus for a TPR tour.  I landed at CDG, took an Uber to the resort, then climbed on the bus.  Screw that place.

He was behind the launch of Shanghai Disney which seemed to plagued with issues left and right, let alone all of the culture shock once it opened, though that can't be contributed to just this guy.

Now he's left Disney Japan (thank god, before he could do damage) and is getting cozy with Six Flags.  Does this bode well in any way?

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