Nothing compares to theme parks in terms of attracting crowds and creating excitement. Much like Walt Disney, which is spending billions to supercharge its theme park division, a strong moneymaker, Saudi Arabia aims to fortify its entertainment industry by building 24 theme parks and 421 entertainment centers, apart from other new attractions, restaurants, and cafes.
The nation’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has also approved licenses to more than 1,300 entertainment shows until the end of last year. In its favor, the kingdom has a population of 22 million, meaning it can support a homegrown industry better than its gulf neighbors.
Reportedly, the authority has provided above 630 permits for artistic and entertainment talent management. The government issued over 360 crowd organizations and management certificates, providing over 700 licenses to operate entertainment facilities and 120 certificates for entertainment activities’ ticket sales.
As a result, big players in the exhibiting cinema sector have already entered Saudi Arabia; the aim is to have 2,500 screens opened in the country over the next five years and 350 theaters, creating more than 30,000 jobs by 2030.
To build the entertainment industry, the country is funding homegrown productions, sponsoring Saudi filmmakers to study abroad, and establishing domestic training schools, soundstages, and studios, as Saudi shows and movies are emerging as the region’s watching habits are transforming, creating opportunities.