Saudi Arabia to invest $64bn in entertainment

From BBC - February 22, 2018

Saudi Arabia says it will invest $64bn (46bn) in developing its entertainment industry over the next decade.

The head of the General Entertainment Authority said 5,000 events were planned this year alone, including those by Maroon 5 and Cirque du Soleil.

Construction of the country's first opera house has also begun in Riyadh.

The investment is part of a social and economic reform programme, known as Vision 2030, unveiled two years ago Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The 32 year old wants to diversify the economy and reduce the kingdom's reliance on oil, including by increasing household spending on culture and entertainment.

In December, the government lifted a ban on commercial cinemas.

General Entertainment Authority chief Ahmed bin Aqeel al-Khatib was quoted by local media as saying he hoped 220,000 people would be employed in the entertainment sector by the end of 2018 - up from 17,000 last year.


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