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Saudi Arabia’s massive investment into cinema

Saudi people attend the concert of composer Yanni at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 3, 2017. Picture taken December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RC1A89B33430

The Saudi cinema industry is setting itself up for incredible growth, as the kingdom plans to build 140 cinemas and create over 5,000 new employments this year according to the latest figures. 

This data, published ahead of Cinema Build KSA 2020, held in Riyadh next week, estimates the investment will cost an approximate $1.3 billion (SR5BN).

The Cinema Build KSA reunites the major regional stakeholders and international service providers to discuss best practices to design and build these cinemas in Saudi Arabia.



Serving as the largest gathering for cinema stakeholders in Saudi, this second annual conference is a testament to their flourishing cinema industry. The event is organized by local groups Eyes of Cities and the Great Minds Group. It gathers over 300 attendees, with 30 sponsors and 25 international speakers.

This new investment into the arts and leisure fits into Saudi Arabia’s wider plan to diversify its’ economy away from oil. The 2030 reform also hopes to increase household spending around domestic entertainment. 



Visualizing the numbers:

More specifically, this project will yield to 158,760 cinema seats and close to 6 million square feet of carpet. 18,852,750 square feet of gypsum boards, wall panels, and customized ceiling materials and 1,250 air-handling units to make it all happen. 

With this speedy pace, the Saudi cinema industry has already gained the attention from cinema stakeholders across continents and will soon lead in its region.