Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Saudi leisure, entertainment market booming, say experts

Saudi Arabia’s leisure market holds significant growth potential with a sea of mega tourism and entertainment developments being announced including setting up of over 24 theme parks and 420 entertainment centres as well as the creation of over 35 entertainment-based venues by the turn of the decade, said an industry expert ahead of the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) Expo.

 A major gathering of the entertainment and leisure industry in the Middle East, SEA will run from May 28 to 30 at Riyadh’s International Convention Centre.

The expo comes at a time when KSA’s leisure and entertainment industry has got its biggest endorsement from the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who plans has set up an Events Investment Fund (EIF) that will see the creation of over 35 entertainment-based venues by the turn of the decade.

What’s more, the already buzzing billion-dollar gaming industry in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow 250 per cent by 2030, said the organisers.

Saudi Arabia plans to attract over 100 million visitors annually by 2030. Along with religious tourism, public and private sector entities in Saudi Arabia are working collaboratively to spur tourist numbers by fuelling leisure and entertainment offerings therein diversifying the Kingdom’s rich non-oil-based economy.

According to organisers, the General Entertainment Authority has issued licenses for 24 theme parks and 421+ entertainment centres to boost diversification efforts outlined in Saudi Vision 2030. More than 350 theatres and 2,500 screens will open in the Kingdom over the next five years therein adding over 30,000 jobs by 2030.

Add to that the impact of giga projects – including The Red Sea Project, NEOM Mega City, Riyadh Entertainment City – to drive inbound and outbound tourism. If anything, the Kingdom’s leisure and entertainment industry is on track to touch the $1.17-billion mark at the end of the decade, as industry experts indicate.

“The KSA leisure and entertainment market holds significant growth potential and like the past years, Menalac members will be in full force at SEA Expo. High quality and exciting homegrown brands are now rubbing shoulders with international concepts offering guests considerable choice,” remarked Mishal Al Hokair, President of Menalac and Deputy CEO, Al Hokair Group.

Like every year the Expo will bring stakeholders from the ever-so-dynamic industry together to deliberate opportunities, discuss infrastructural developments and think of ways to together overcome obstacles to make the landscape truly diversified and dynamic, stated Al Hokair.

“On part of Menalac, I can say that we have an unwavering commitment to further enhance the Kingdom’s leisure and entertainment offerings through new and exciting concepts. Importantly, we are committed to create new job opportunities for people in Saudi Arabia therein playing our part in achieving goals laid out as part of Vision 2030,” he added.

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