Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority announced the start of the construction of an Opera house in Riyadh, a project that is among many others related to the entertainment sector.
The General Entertainment Authority chief, Ahmad bin Aqeel al-Khatib, said that the construction of the building has already begun.
“We are not talking about plans… Implementation has begun and we will continue to reach the desired level and achieve the highest international standards,” he said through the entertainment Authority’s official Twitter account.
Al-Khatib added that Saudi Arabia will invest $64 billion in the entertainment sector in the next 10 years.
He said that the entertainment industry has helped employ over 17,000 citizens in 2017, and they aim to reach 220,000 employees this year.
During the authority’s ceremony launching the kingdom’s 2018 entertainment calendar, al-Khatib said that the authority carried out 2,200 entertainment activities in 2017, and is aiming to organize 50,000 in 2018.
“In the past, investors would go outside the kingdom to produce their work, and then showcase it back in Saudi Arabia. Today, change will happen and everything related to entertainment will be done here,” he said.
A wider range of events
Al-Khatib said: “In 2018 we got to have a better opportunity to plan and double the activations from 2,200 to 5,500 entertainment events. The expanded list now comprises more international events, more events for the Saudi youth, varied local talents keeping in mind the age, quality and type of events covering 55 cities in the kingdom. We will continue to cover more.”
“Eight million people attended our activations in the main cities but we are expanding the reach to build up for receiving 15 million visitors to the planned events in more cities. In two to three years, we promise a wider range of events coming to more areas in the kingdom, ” the minister said in an exclusive interview with Al Arabia.
“As part of Saudi Vision 2030 we launched the Saudi Entertainment Authority with the purpose of spreading joy and happiness and and to support tourism. The entertainment business comes third in funding after the Petroleum sector and the military armament and security budgets, based of the directions of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Al-Khatib added.
“The ‘Quality of Life’ program is part of our 2020 plans and entertainment is a major part of it. Our plan is to put Saudi Arabia at the top destinations for Tourism and entertainment,” he said.
The minister added, “For women, we have over 80 events dedicated to families and Fashion Week is coming to the capital in 2018 as well as concerts, and we promise more.”
About the price of the tickets, he said: “Part of the Saudi Vision 2030 is to depend on generating income through the private sector. So ticket prices will be based on the size and cost of covering the events, but it should be reasonable and with everyone’s reach.