• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Saudi Arabia launches $34.7 billion entertainment revolution

  • Published at 06:11 pm May 5th, 2018
Saudi Arabia launches $34.7 billion entertainment revolution
After repealing a decades-long ban on cinemas only last year, Saudi Arabia has now launched an ambitious drive to become a culture and entertainment hub as part of sweeping modernisation plans. American film star Katie Holmes and British actor-cum-director Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with Saudi officials, as the conservative kingdom on Thursday night kicked off an initiative to invest 130 billion riyals ($34.7 billion, 29 billion euros) in culture and leisure by 2020. The goal is to create "a true cultural industry, with theatres, cinemas and training centres," said Ahmad al-Mazid, who leads culture policy for Saudi Arabia. Key projects include 16 entertainment complexes, an aquatic centre and three other huge leisure hubs -- all part of a bid to ensure three Saudi cities make it into the global top 100 for quality of life. The project, dubbed "Quality of Life Program 2020," is in part designed to encourage wealthy young citizens to spend more of their leisure time in the kingdom, where more than half the population is below the age of 25. "It will contribute to the satisfaction of Saudis and incentivise them to invest in their country and to stay," said Ahmad Khatib, head of the oil-rich state's entertainment policy. The government will pump 50.9 billion riyals into this cultural revolution, while courting private investors and foreign partners for the rest of the investment. "Saudi Arabia gave me an opportunity to make my film here, it made sense on an economical model," British actor Elba, who made his name as a gangster in the gritty American police series The Wire, told AFP at the event. "I would definitely be here -- why not?" added the Londoner, who has in more recent years turned his hand to directing and has a Twitter following of more than 2.5 million. The investment programme feeds into a drive by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernise his homeland, both in terms of liberalising Saudi society and reducing the economy's overwhelming dependence on oil. The initiative aims to create 300,000 new jobs and represents a key pillar of the nation's "Vision 2030" reforms.
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail