Saudi cinema investment seen at SR5 billion in 2020


RIYADH — Cinema investment in Saudi Arabia is expected to generate an estimated SR5 billion in construction during 2020, according to data published ahead of Cinema Build KSA 2020, which takes place at Fairmont, Riyadh on Feb. 19-20, 2020.

The latest market research done by The Great Minds Group, partner of Cinema Build KSA 2020, predicts that KSA will witness investment in cinema projects estimated to reach SR5 billion during 2020, with 140 cinemas planned to open in 30 malls.

The Saudi cinema industry will see enormous growth and is set to become the leader in the region and has already gained attention from cinema stakeholders across the globe. With an equivalent to 1,323 of total screens planned across the country, the demand for materials and resources to build cinema has increased. The Cinema Build KSA report reveals an estimated number of 158,760 cinema seats and more than 5,953,500 square feet of cinema carpet will be required to execute 2020 growth plans, in addition to more than 18,852,750 square feet of gypsum boards, wall panels, mass barrier ceiling and 1,250 air handling units.

One of the main goals of the Vision 2030, is to increase Saudi household spending on domestic entertainment from 2.9 to 6 per cent of total expenditure, considering that Saudi nationals spend about $30 billion annually on tourism and entertainment outside the Kingdom. Supporting and enhancing the fast-growing cinema sector will not only recover Saudi investments abroad but will also create more than 5,314 job opportunity in 2020 in the Saudi market, according to Cinema Build KSA report.

The Saudi cinema industry, with enormous potential, is growing rapidly and steadily as it is led by great leadership and industry stalwarts. Cinema Build KSA provides enormous networking and business opportunities to international brands and serves as a one-stop-shop for the local cinemas. Being the largest gathering of cinema stakeholders in Saudi, Cinema Build KSA 2020 will serve as a learning center for building world-class cinemas.

According to a pwc report in October 2018 on cinemas in Saudi Arabia, it said the participation of AMC entertainment, the world’s largest cinema operator and DIEC is expected to give a boost to the development of the cinema industry in the Kingdom. In April 2018, DIEC opened its first cinema in the King Abdullah Financial District and aims to open 50-100 cinemas across Saudi Arabia by 2030.

The fast paced development of the cinema sector can be demonstrated by the opening of Saudi Arabia’s second cinema by VOX Cinemas. Alongside DIEC, VOX has been an early entrant into the Kingdom’s cinema market and plans to invest $533 million to open 600 screens across the Kingdom and provide 3,000 new jobs over the next 5 years to capture a share of anticipated demand. IMAX signed a deal with VOX to partner on a minimum of 4 multiplex venues in Saudi Arabia, pwc report added.

Moreover, the report stated that as a new cinema market, the type of content that appeals to audiences in the Kingdom is still to be established. Adam Aron, AMC’s CEO expected the same version of movies shown in Dubai or Kuwait to be suitable for Saudi Arabia. As a result, content screened in Saudi Arabia is expected to range from global Hollywood blockbusters to Bollywood, regional and local films. In addition, VOX cinemas, through a partnership with 20th century Fox, will exclusively distribute Fox content in the Kingdom.

The cinema industry will also work to conserve and promote national heritage and talent by screening movies produced by local producers and will work toward exporting local content internationally. One of the QoL's metrics is to develop the local film industry with the goal of producing 13 Saudi movies by 2020, pwc report noted. — SG