The end of a 35-year long ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia has opened the floodgates of investment into MENA’s cinema and entertainment industry. The Gulf region is expected to see investment worth more than $3.54 billion in cinema screens after the Kingdom moved to allow public cinemas.
With Saudi Arabia’s population among the highest spending on leisure activities, the government is hoping to snag a share for the cultural and the entertainment sector. One of Saudi's Vision 2030's main goals is to increase household spending on cultural and entertainment activities inside the Kingdom from the current level of 2.9% to 6%. That comes in parallel with the country's plans to increase visitors from 8 million to 30 million annually by 2030.
Box office revenue exceeded $500 million in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2017, according to a research by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC). This represents 1.25% of the global box office revenue of $39.92 billion recorded last year, up 3% from 2016, according to ComScore.
Investment in Saudi Arabia's Cinemas in Numbers
300 cinemas, theme park projects, entertainment cities and family entertainment centers by 2030
$24 billion worth investment is expected to come into Saudi Arabia’s cinema industry
30,000 jobs will be created through the investment in Saudi’s cinema industry.
$2.7 billion will be invested by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company (DIEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), in Saudi Arabia’s cinema industry by 2030.
4 cinema operating licenses have been given out in Saudi Arabia
$35 billion is the value that the Middle East’s media and entertainment industry is expected to reach by 2020, according to PwC.