Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision is encouraging the development of a vibrant society, a key component of which is the entertainment sector expected to provide exciting entertainment options and tailored experiences to the needs of people in Saudi Arabia. 2017 saw some interesting achievements in this sector and set the stage for more than doubling the activity scheduled for 2018 with its liberating nature and morale-boosting potential for KSA residents.
Around half of the 32 million inhabitants of Saudi Arabia are under the age of 30 with a considerable appetite for entertainment, culture, and sports. Saudis make approximately 9.6 million leisure trips abroad each year, spending around 80% of their entertainment budget whist they are away. This amounts to around SAR 21 billion (US$5.6 billion) per year, a sizeable sum reflecting the recreational needs of the modern society.
Private sector participation in the industry is key within the areas of infrastructure development, event operations, content building and capabilities building. The expansion of this sector will also open opportunities for the private sector through ancillary services such as food and beverages, retail, logistics, tourism and accommodation. The General Entertainment Authority (GEA), General Authority for Culture, General Sports Authority (GSA), Entertainment Company and Qiddiya are all newly established stakeholders with clear mandates to open the sector and facilitate the private sector participation.
Over 2,200 event titles were held by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) in 2017, attracting 7 million attendees in over 50 towns and cities. Higher targets were set for 2018, with plans to organize around 5,500 events during that year. Also, 2018 brought the re-opening of cinemas.
The sector will also open-up the establishment of many opportunities including theme parks, family entertainment centers, live events and shows, Zoos and aqua parks, nature reserves, Museums, theaters and other.
[source: “Saudi General investment Authority” data]