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Asia’s theme parks undergo development of new attractions

Asia’s theme parks undergo development of new attractions
February 14, 2021

With operational theme parks across Asia closed for a large part of 2020, the venues made the most of the year with work on new attractions while under development resorts moved forward with their plans.

Work on Saudi Arabia's Six Flags at the Qiddiya 'giga-project' saw the commencement on the construction on what will be the world's fastest rollercoaster.

When it opens as Six Flags Qiddiya’s flagship attraction in 2023, the Falcon’s Flight coaster will send riders down a 160-metre vertical cliff, through an illuminated tunnel, and around a series of corkscrews and inversions - at a reported top speed of 250 kilometres per hour (according to CNN and Forbes).

It will take the accolade away for the Formula Rossa rollercoaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi which accelerates guests to a speed of 240 km/h.

With former Disney executive Phillipe Gas, appointed Qiddiya Chief Executive in November last year, the development’s building program has been largely unaffected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Taking on the role, Gas advised “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.”

With Saudi Arabia opening its borders to international visitors in 2019, the Kingdom has moved to develop a cruise industry, attracting international sporting events and luxury hotel brands to build projects among its stunning natural landscapes as well as revising rules such as strict dress codes that could make foreign visitors feel unwelcome.

With Dubai an established tourism destination and the delayed Expo 2020 to now open from October, Dubai Parks and Resorts has relaunched Bollywood Parks Dubai.

Opened at the end of January with nine new rides, an authentic Bollywood themed shopping experience at the Bollywood Souq Bazaar and new Indian food and beverage offerings, the park has introduced the world’s tallest swing ride, the Bollywood Skyflyer, stands 140 metres tall and the Wheel of Stars, a 55-metre-high observation wheel.

In Dubai’s neighbouring Emirate, construction of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, the latest attraction on Yas Island, is on target to be finished in 2022.

In China, the largest opening of the year will see Universal Beijing Resort is now moving ahead in preparation for the highly anticipated grand opening in May this year.

First conceived over a decade ago, the collaboration between Universal and local partners, including the Beijing Tourism Group has involved over 500 designers and artists, more than 500 suppliers and global partners, and over 100,000 construction workers.

With the major phase of construction ended, Universal Beijing Resort’s is currently testing its rides, putting detail into its seven themed lands and completing staff recruitment and training.

In Australia, Gold Coast theme park Sea World its $50 million New Atlantis precinct, in which the first ride, Vortex, opened before Christmas. The other attractions in the new precinct - The Leviathan a wooden rollercoaster and the Trident tower - are set to open in June.

At Dreamworld, its new triple launch rollercoaster, branded as the Steel Taipan is also scheduled to open this year.

Images, from top: Concept for the Falcon’s Flight coaster at Six Flags Qiddiya (credit: Qiddaya), a view of the overall Qiddaya concept (credit: Qiddaya), Qiddiya Chief Executive Phillipe Gas (credit: Qiddaya) and the new Wheel of Stars at the relaunched Bollywood Parks Dubai (credit: Dubai Parks and Resorts).

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