Role of entertainment sector in promoting growth


Saudi Gazette report

ENTERTAINMENT is important for everyone because it helps people escape from daily life pressure and enjoy a peaceful moment with their loved ones so that they can regain energy and power. Entertainment was part and parcel, and still is, of all previous civilizations that existed on the globe, Al-Riyadh daily reported. Decades ago, people used to entertain themselves in the Kingdom by attending traditional dance and poetry reading events and sometimes by camping in the wilderness where they could have a quality time with their family members. But over the years, entertainment activities started to vary with people becoming more adventurous and also making a beeline to the other GCC states for entertainment, but the activities were not organized.

The Saudi government attaches great importance to entertainment activities. Several government agencies organize miscellaneous entertainment activities that are broadcast live. Today, the government unified the efforts of all public agencies under the umbrella of General Entertainment Authority, which was established by a royal decree in line with Vision 2030.

The government decided to take this step because of the pivotal role of entertainment in the development of economy and promotion of Saudis cities at the international level as well as encouragement of local and foreign investor, in addition to opening up avenues of entertainment for the youth, not only as a path to project their creativity but also being gainfully employed in jobs that they love. The government announced that it would allocate lands for entertainment and cultural projects including arts libraries and museums, opening up new vistas for the industry to grow and delight.

Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the chairman of the authority, said more than 80% of the authority’s 5,500 activities in 2018 will focus on families and youth with emphasis also on other segments of society. In an interview earlier, he said the authority organized 2,200 activities in 2017 in various parts of the country. He also said that around 500 entertainment companies were established in 2017, creating 22,000 job opportunities, noting that the authority focuses now on building and bolstering the entertainment infrastructure such as large parks and amusement cities.

The government also announced that it will implement the Neom Project, the world’s first independent special zone stretching over three countries, which is set to become a new vibrant destination located in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia and emerge as a leading global hub that exemplifies the future of human civilization by offering its inhabitants an idyllic lifestyle combined with exceptional economic prospects. Targeting nine sectors to diversify the economy away from oil, the project seeks to attract top talent from around the world to push the boundaries of innovation like never before, and drive the growth of this zone and its residents.

Another project is Qiddiya, the entertainment, sports and cultural destination that will be the first of its kind in the Kingdom, spanning an area of 334 square kilometers at a destination of 40 kilometers west of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The project will bring together a number of entertainment facilities that will support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, contribute to Saudi Arabia’s diversification drive and boost national economic development, creating a large number of job opportunities for Saudi men and women. It will focus on six major components: The fun city, sports facilities, car and cycle race courses, water adventures and ice games, natural attractions and cultural and heritage events. It will include entertainment centers and sports facilities capable of hosting world-class competitions and games, training, desert and asphalt tracks for car enthusiasts, water and snow recreation activities, outdoor adventure activities, safari experiences and nature attractions, as well as historical, cultural and educational activities.

Such activities would not only provide youth the opportunity to excel in their field of specialty, but also allow for the youth to channelize and expend their energies in fruitful pursuit. It would also make the youth competitive in the global market, making them one among the best for any position.