|Riyadh, Saudi Arabia / Photo by: apriltan18 via Pixabay|
Over the next ten years, Saudi Arabia will pour in 204 billion Saudi riyals or $64 billion into various development projects to fortify its entertainment industry, announced an official on February 22, reported Qatari media company Al Jazeera.
Ahmed al-Khateeb, Head of the General Entertainment Authority, said that the government, as well as local and foreign investors, shall produce the aforementioned amount.
He said that just for this year, GEA is planning to stage 5,500 events that will involve 48 cities.
That will be more than double the events held across the country in 2017.
Last year, some eight million people participated in over 2,000 events.
This 2018, Canadian group Cirque du Soleil, known for their world-class acrobatic performances, and American pop rock band Maroon 5 are among the international acts that will be invited to showcase their brand of entertainment in the oil-rich kingdom.
Constructions already started for Saudi Arabia’s first-ever opera house, which will rise in the modern city of Jiddah (also spelled as “Jeddah”).
After banning commercial theaters for more than 35 years, the kingdom intends to open its first movie house in March.
All these seemingly overwhelming efforts by the government to enhance its entertainment sector are part of what it calls the Saudi Vision 2030.
Aimed to be completed by 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman initially discussed this initiative in April 2016. Generally, the vision is to make Saudi Arabia not to fully rely anymore on oil to achieve stability and make economic progress.
The 32-year-old crown prince desires “a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions, traditions, and people,” quoted BBC.
Al-Khatib, according to BBC, is positive that by 2020, several changes could already be seen in the kingdom.