Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, has issued a directive for Dubai Parks and Resorts to fully support a Six Flags in Saudi Arabia, according to The National.
Last week, Six Flags CEO John Duffy announced that his company was happy to enter into a partnership with Saudi Arabia after meeting Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“We’re very honored to be provided with an opportunity to enter into a partnership to bring Six Flags to the kingdom… Our parks can provide the entertainment to which Saudis aspire,” Duffy said in a statement to Al Arabiya .
However, less than two days later the company majorly backtracked.
"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," a spokesperson said, according to The National .
It appears that there may have been some confusion between the CEO and his company about the deals and contracts that had already been established. However, now Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed has given the green light to a future Saudi project, allowing for the waiving of any "exclusive" clause in the emirate's deal.
"We are proud to support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to increase tourism and diversification, and to work together for the benefit of the GCC region," CEO of Dubai Parks and Resort Raed Al Nuaimi said, according to The National .
“In the Middle East, there is a significant gap in the market for world-class family entertainment destinations, and with three billion people living within a four-hour flight time, there is great potential for the industry to expand, and the demand to support several entertainment destinations across the region."
Saudi Arabia plans to open a Six Flags as part of its ambitious Vision 2030, which aims to dramatically increase cultural and entertainment opportunities within the kingdom.
“We consider culture and entertainment indispensable to our quality of life. We are well aware that the cultural and entertainment opportunities currently available do not reflect the rising aspirations of our citizens and residents,” the plan says .
Additionally, the government will provide “land suitable for cultural and entertainment projects. Talented writers, authors and directors will be supported.”