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Largest water park in Middle East to open in Qiddiya next year

An artist's impression of the surf lagoon being built at Aquarabia in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia Qiddiya Investment Company
An artist's impression of the surf lagoon being built at Aquarabia in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia
  • Aquarabia park to offer 22 rides
  • Qiddiya giga-project valued at $9.8bn
  • Will host kayaking at Asian Games

The largest water theme park in the Middle East is on target to open in the city of Qiddiya next year, its developer has announced.

Aquarabia, the first water park in Saudi Arabia, will have four record holders among its 22 rides, including the world’s tallest “water coaster” and tallest water slide.

It will also house an underwater adventure ride with fully submersible cars, a beach bay with a giant wave pool and the kingdom’s first surf pool. 

An extreme watersports zone will offer rafting, kayaking, canyoneering, free solo climbing and cliff jumping. Aquarabia will be a training and event venue for whitewater kayaking and will play host to the sport during the 2034 Asian Games.

One in five of the attractions will be “dry”, accessible to visitors in street clothes.

Aquarabia is being built by Qiddiya Investment Company alongside a Six Flags amusement park in the sports and entertainment city, which is 25 miles west of Riyadh. Both parks are scheduled to open next year as part of Vision 2030

The building contractor is a joint venture of ALEC Saudi Arabia Engineering & Contracting and El Seif Engineering & Contracting. No costs for the water park have been revealed, but real estate consultancy Knight Frank has valued the Qiddiya giga-project at $9.8 billion.

Aquarabia will have 22 food and beverage outlets, eight retail outlets and 81 private climate-controlled luxury cabanas.

The park will use recycled water for irrigation and cooling. Specialised filters will enable it to reduce water waste by up to 90 percent.

Aquarabia and Six Flags Qiddiya City are projected to create a total of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.

The theme park, the first Six Flags to be built outside North America, claims five world record-breaking rides, including the world’s tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster, which will run parallel to the Formula One race track being built in the city.

Abdullah Aldawood, managing director of Qiddiya Investment Company, said the Aquarabia announcement was “a significant milestone for Qiddiya City and for the entertainment, tourism and sports sector”.

The announcement was made as the four-day annual Arabian Travel Market, the region’s biggest travel and hospitality exhibition, opened in Dubai on Monday.

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