SNC-Lavalin's Atkins wins Riyadh design services contract

Upcoming capital of entertainment, sports and arts south-west of Riyadh will be a key component of Vision 2030

Dominic Ellis
|Oct 28|magazine8 min read


SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business has been awarded the lead design consultant services contract for the Six Flags Qiddiya theme park project in Saudi Arabia from Qiddiya Investment Company.

Located within Qiddiya – the Kingdom’s upcoming capital of entertainment, sports, and arts – the project is south-west of the Saudi capital of Riyadh. A core element of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Qiddiya has a dual economic and social purpose of advancing economic diversification and unlocking new professional pathways for the country's youth.

Under the terms of the three-year contract, Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will provide integrated lead design consultant, construction supervision, and cost management services. The scope of work includes public realm and necessary infrastructure within the plot area, along with validation of the pre-concept design. 

In addition, the international consultancy will develop sustainability and environmental assessment methods, design criteria and standards for the project.

“This win is a testament to our proven track record for delivering flagship projects worldwide, and market-focused approach to a dynamic and sustainable business growth in the Middle East,” said Cris Dedigama, CEO of Atkins Middle East & Africa, Engineering, Design and Project Management, SNC-Lavalin. 

“We are proud to work with Qiddiya on this one-of-a-kind project that supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the acceleration of the country’s economic diversification agenda.”

Atkin’s relationship with Qiddiya Investment Company began in 2019 when it provided master planning and infrastructure engineering services for the destination-resort community.

Scheduled to open during the first phase of development for the megaproject, Six Flags Qiddya will cover an area of 32 hectares (79 acres) and will feature 28 uniquely themed rides and attractions across six ‘lands’: The City of Thrills, Discovery Springs, Steam Town, Twilight Gardens, Valley of Fortune and Grand Exposition.

The theme park will also provide both recreational and professional opportunities to the local Saudi population. It will feature several record-breaking attractions, including The Falcon’s Flight, the longest, tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the world.

His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman, 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. 

“With over 50 years’ presence in the Middle East, Atkins has delivered some of the region’s most iconic amusement parks,” says Ian Redmayne, managing director of Atkins KSA, Engineering, Design and Project Management, SNC-Lavalin. 

“We are proud to support the Six Flags Qiddiya project that is set to redefine the entertainment industry not only in the region, but also globally. We look forward to delivering this project to the highest quality, safety and sustainability standards,” he adds.

In 2020, Qiddiya says things haveprogressed from the planning to the construction phase as the mass grading and site preparation began on site, supported by security fencing around the entire premises. 

A strategic partnership with DETASAD was also announced, building on the milestones of 2019, which included the approval of the Master Plan, the release of the design of Six Flags Qiddiya and the opening of the Welcome Centre and first site office.

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