Third Cinema Operating License Awarded in Saudi Arabia as Entertainment Sector Heats Up

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Information and Chairman of the General Authority for Audiovisual Media Dr. Awwad Al-Awad awarded the third cinema operation license to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema as the Kingdom’s entertainment sector heats up.

US giant AMC and Dubai-based Vox Cinemas received the first two licenses and have already opened theaters in April and May this year. Saudi Arabia allowed cinemas to re-open in December 2017 following a 35-year ban.

The authority approved the issuance of licenses in December to build the sector and boost economic diversity and job creation in new fields, in line with Vision 2030.

Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema hopes to open as many as 30 cinemas in Saudi Arabia in the coming years.

Around 2,500 theatres are expected to open in the country by 2030.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to pump $64 billion into its entertainment industry as part of Vision 2030. The Kingdom has a large population base on which filmmakers and entertainment organizers can build an industry within Saudi borders, which is attracting interest and investment in opportunities in that sector.

28 major entertainment events are planned for 2018, including Cirque du Soleil, Saudi Fashion Week, a jazz festival and the opera “Antar and Abla.”