Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Saudi Arabia to invest US$64b in entertainment in next decade

Saudi Arabia to invest US$64b in entertainment in next decade

Ahmed Al Khatib, chairman of the entertainment authority, made the announcement on Thursday during a ceremony that saw Saudi Arabia's 2018 entertainment calendar be unveiled. The young crown prince is reported to want more Saudi's to take fewer holidays overseas and spend their vacations within the Kingdom to further boost the country's ailing economy.

The plan is part of an ambitious reform strategy, called Vision 2030, launched by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aiming to open the country to Western investments and diversify its oil-dependent economy. "Today, change will happen and everything related to entertainment will be done here", he said. Construction for an opera house in Riyadh has also commenced, said Al-Khatib.

Next month, the kingdom is planning to open the country's first movie theatre after a more than 35-year-ban.

Ahmad bin Aqeel al-Khitab, the General Entertainment Authority chief, said the money we are going to invest in entertainment sector will come from both the government and the private sectors of the country.

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Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority announced the start of the construction of an Opera house in Riyadh, a project that is among many others related to the entertainment sector.

Saudi Arabia lifted its decades-old ban on cinemas late a year ago, with plans for regional and global chains to open more than 300 movie theatres by 2030.

He added that 500 companies have already registered to organize entertainment events this year. The first cinemas are expected to start showing films from March.

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