Over $70 Billion Required to Build Saudi Entertainment Sector Infrastructure

Published April 15th, 2019 - 06:58 GMT
About 30 movie theatres are to be opened in 15 cities around the Kingdom within five years.
About 30 movie theatres are to be opened in 15 cities around the Kingdom within five years. (Shutterstock)
Saudi Arabia expected investments in the entertainment sector to reach SR18 billion annually

The General Authority for Entertainment has indicated that the entertainment sector needs SR267 billion to build suitable infrastructure for entertainment across the Kingdom, with expected investments in the entertainment sector to reach SR18 billion annually, according to a 2018 report from Flanders Investment and Trade.

Vox Cinemas, a subsidiary of UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim, was awarded the second license to open cinemas in the Kingdom. The company also plans to invest SR 2 billion in 600 screens over the next five years, which Saudi officials estimate will bring the total number of cinemas in operation to as high as 350 and the number of screens to 2500 by 2030.

The first movie theatre opened in Riyadh on April 18, 2018 and about 30 movie theatres are to be opened in 15 cities around the Kingdom within five years. Moreover, the anticipating audience is expecting to see 300 cinemas with more than 2000 screens around the Kingdom by 2030 and forecasts the sector to be worth around $1 billion over the next few years.

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Considering the crucial need to create a platform to gather the entertainment, construction, technology experts, the Cinema Build KSA Forum in partnership with GCAM, the Forum’s Government Supporting Partner, gathered over 300 attendees & KSA potential market- stakeholders from 30 countries in addition to more than 25 exhibitors for 2 days.

The sessions led by 25 prominent international speakers and industry experts, discussed investment opportunities, business collaborations and future partnerships, cinema industry competitiveness through design and innovative theming, redesigning existing entertainment hubs like shopping malls to embed cinemas, as ways to allocate complimentary attractions for maximum profitability, and material selection for different classes of cinemas.

Organized by Eyes of Cities in collaboration with Great Minds Event Management, Cinema Build KSA Forum has taken the initiative to lead the local cinema industry, brought together key stakeholders across the design, construction & technology sectors to discuss the latest trends & techniques of building world-class cinemas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The event revealed a wide range of new building solutions and equipment used in developing future Cinemas, Multiplexes and Malls, to serve as a key contributor to the industry.

With the size of the population of more than 32 million, majority of whom are under the age of 30, Saudis spend about $30 billion annually on tourism and entertainment outside the Kingdom, which makes the argument to allow movie theatres open a domestic market expected to be worth up to $1bn in annual box-office sales by 2030.

On the sidelines of Cinema Build KSA Forum, Sunil Puthan Veettil, Managing Director Carnival Cinemas said regarding Carnival Cinemas’ future expansion plans in KSA: “Carnival envisions to operate around 300 + screens over the next five years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our mission is to take good quality movie-watching experience close to the people in the country. For this, we have made a study of all the provinces and identified several locations, subject to approval. Our idea is to move to all these provinces to set up entertainment centers and to make Carnival synonymous with cinema across the country.”

At the end of the activities of day 1, Cinema Build KSA Forum organizers held an award ceremony where Dr. Kamel Mohamed the CEO of East Delta Saudi Co Ltd. presented a memento to GCAM’s CEO Badr Al Zahrani, to honour his efforts in supporting Cinema Build KSA Forum and contributing to its great success. Dr. Kamel also presented mementos of appreciation to VOX, Carnival, Empire, Cinepolis, MUVI (Fawaz Alhokair) in recognition to their continued efforts to develop the cinema sector in the Kingdom. Eyes of Riyadh received a memento for supporting Great Minds Event Management’s efforts in marketing Cinema build Forum.

Commenting on organizing Cinema Build KSA forum, Leila Masinaei, the Managing Partner at Great Minds Event Management said: “The world is witnessing Saudi Arabia’s confident steps toward an unprecedented era of social and economic reforms. The cinema ban lift opens doors to untrodden grounds for investments and lucrative revenue streams for the Kingdom and the entertainment sector stakeholders.

“We at Great Minds Events’ envisioned and foreseen the massive growth opportunities in the entertainment sector in KSA hence we are organizing Cinema Build KSA Forum to represent a global platform and bring key entertainment project owners, government decision-makers, regional and international retail developers, family entertainment centers developers, cinemas, etc. and we are very proud to see our vision materialize into reality. Consequently, Cinema Build KSA invites all stakeholders to explore the opportunities in the entertainment sector, as reports expecting at least 300 cinemas, in addition to numerous Family Entertainment Centers to be built by 2030.”

Partnering with Cinema Build KSA were an outstanding number of high-profile leading entities in the field of entertainment, Cinema constructions & technology like VOX, Cinepolis, AMC, Empire, Carnival, Fawaz Alhokair Group, MUVI Cinemas, Jeddah Park, Compass Project Management, TK Architects, & Design Novel Architecture. Cinema Build KSA serves as a platform gathering experts from around the globe to be a part of the Saudi The Forum is a part of MENA Cinema Forum series which has gained a great reputation and brand exposure in the region and internationally and l offered an unparalleled experience and networking opportunities. 

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