A SR10bn entertainment investment firm to be set


Saudi Gazette report

THE Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced that it is in the process of developing an entertainment investment company with an initial capital of SR10 billion ($2.7 billion). Its aim will be to provide investment capital to Saudi Arabia’s growing entertainment sector, which aims to create around 22,000 jobs in the country by 2030.

The company is planning to invest in a number of entertainment projects, which include an entertainment complex that will be launched by 2019. The company will expand the scope and variety of entertainment offerings according to the latest international standards.

Its efforts will enable the development of the entertainment sector and provide incentives to build local potential. The company’s establishment is in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 to increase the Kingdom’s cultural and entertainment offering, to create new employment opportunities, and to make the use of the wealth of talent and energy among Saudi youth.

By the end of 2030, the company’s projects aim to serve more than 50 million visitors annually and create more than 22,000 jobs in the Kingdom, which will contribute around SR8 billion to GDP. The new company will form a central pillar of the Kingdom’s diverse entertainment sector, providing new investment capital to support the sector’s growth and the diversification of the Saudi economy over the short and long-term.

The company will seek to localize the large amount of spending on entertainment outside the Kingdom in addition to promoting the entertainment sector’s role in diversifying revenue streams. Last May, the Kingdom created the General Authority for Entertainment responsible for the nation’s expanding entertainment sector.

The General Authority for Entertainment partners with both the public and private actors to reduce government spending on entertainment. Blue Man Group, which has been delighting crowds worldwide since 1991, performed at Jeddah’s Al-Jawhara Stadium. Now it is wooing crowds at Riyadh’s King Fahd Cultural Center.

Early this year, Jeddah held the first-ever Saudi Comic Con. The event dedicated to films, comics and anime featured celebrity appearances and was backed by the General Authority for Entertainment.

In November 2016, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation announced planned expansions into Saudi Arabia, and the board of the GEA was appointed to manage the development of the theme parks in the country. Three parks are planned for construction, with the first one set to open by 2021.

The General Authority for entertainment launched an online entertainment calendar, Roznamah (calendar in Arabic), in order to communicate about, and compile over 300 upcoming and past events, nationwide. It features upcoming film screenings and performances by Cirque du Soleil, Universe Science, the Light Festival and the Lion King musical.