Qiddiya set to break many world records: Misk Forum

Attendees on the second day of the 4th annual Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. — Courtesy photo
Attendees on the second day of the 4th annual Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. — Courtesy photo

By Amal Al-Saeed

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

The support of Saudi Arabian government for Qiddiya entertainment mega project is amazing, said Mario Centola, vice president of international operations and business development at Six Flags.

“The city will be the largest of its kind in the world in terms of entertainment and games, and it will break a set of world records,” he said while addressing a panel discussion session on the second day of the 4th annual Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Six Flags International, the world’s largest amusement park company, will build its Saudi Six Flags theme park in Qiddiya, outside the capital of Riyadh.

“It is time to take the field of entertainment seriously, and the efforts being made in Qiddiya aim to make it the city of the future,” he said, while pointing out that there will be the latest technology in every part of the city.

Centola said that innovation in the Kingdom is amazing and it is everywhere, whether in Riyadh or elsewhere, and this will be reflected on Qiddiya.

“There will be great job opportunities in the Kingdom, especially in the field of entertainment,” he said, while calling on Saudis to promote their products.

Oscar-winning Spanish film producer Andres Gomez, who has also produced “Born a King,” said that his relationship with Saudi Arabia began 10 years ago when he was invited to produce a musical drama. The story was a bit complicated as it has to unveil events of 200 years in the Kingdom’s history, with incorporating many events and personalities.

With regard to the film “Born a King”, a movie on King Faisal, Gomez said that the story of King Faisal was the most suitable for promoting the Kingdom abroad, in which 70 percent of the events take place in Britain, pointing to the ability of King Faisal to promote his father and his country at the time.

The movie tells the story of a young Faisal during his trip to the UK on a diplomatic mission aged 13.

He stressed the need to make films that people like, calling on Saudi Arabia to be wary of the invasion of foreign cultures, and give priority to the local industry, adding, “make your films locally.”

For his part, Shinji Shimizu, managing director of the Japanese Toei Animation Co., talked about his visit to Saudi Arabia 10 years ago, and witnessing of the interest of Saudi youth in Japanese animation, saying that they have many talents, and ability to absorb quickly, and want to express Saudi culture.

Abbas, producer of animation serials, highlighted the importance of this period for Saudis, as the country is opening up to diverse types of entertainment and arts. He stressed the importance of animation as a magnet for children, as well as the enormous potential of young people encouraged and supported by the government.

The three-day forum, titled “Work Reworked” is organized by Misk Initiative Center at Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation (Misk Foundation).

The forum, which kicked off Tuesday, seeks to explore new trends and transformations in the world of work, with the presence of about 5,000 people, representing more than 100 countries around the world, and over 140 leading entrepreneurs. The forum is discussing four topics: workforce, workflow, workplace and Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC).