MIDDLE EAST

A US-Saudi entertainment summit

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is currently in Los Angeles to meet with leaders from the entrainment industry.

A Saudi-US summit on the future of entertainment in Saudi Arabia will be held in LA, the land of arts and future, and will be attended by a number of ministers and leaders from the most prominent entertainment companies in both countries.

The crown prince had met with Kevin Tsujihara, the chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment, and top executives from other relevant companies. Warner Bros. Entertainment is of course one of the most famous companies in the entertainment sector.

There are two questions here. Why is there an interest in entertainment? And why head toward the US in this regard?

When it comes to the first question, we do not need to remind of the importance of entertainment in spreading tranquility and helping one usefully spend his time. Seeking entertainment is a human “instinct.” Look at an infant who after he eats, drinks and gets warm begins to play.

We are before an “entertainment revolution” in Saudi Arabia which is aware of the vitality of revitalizing this sector and its significant effects on the social, cultural, security and economic fronts.

Mashari Althaydi

As to why the US was chosen for this purpose, the US is a leader in this sector as it’s one of the first countries to gain experience in this field. The crown prince did well when he chose to head to the masters of this industry in the US.

According to the Saudi daily Okaz, Saudi Arabia signed a deal with AMC Entertainment granting it the first license to build and operate movie theatres in the kingdom.

AMC has the largest share of the theater market in the US and is also the largest movie theater chain in the world.

We are before an “entertainment revolution” in Saudi Arabia which is aware of the vitality of revitalizing this sector and its significant effects on the social, cultural, security and economic fronts.

In February, the Saudi Entertainment Authority announced that 5,550 events were planned this year in 56 cities.

According to a piece by Dr. Abduallah al-Radadi in Asharq al-Awsat daily, the Saudi Entertainment Authority announced it will invest around $64 billion over 10 years. He noted that although this seems like a huge amount, it’s actually small when compared with what’s spent in other countries. The value of the global entertainment market reached $1.6 trillion in 2014 and it’s expected to grow to $2.2 trillion in 2019. In the US alone, there are over 3 million people working in the entertainment sector.

The Saudi crown prince’s US tour is historic given the significance of the weapons, energy, political and security deals signed. Welcome to the new Saudi Arabia.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy

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Last Update: Wednesday, 4 April 2018 KSA 20:39 - GMT 17:39
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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