US-KSA-UAE consortium to build 300 cinemas in 15 Saudi cities

Lux Entertainment has won the fourth license to set up and operate cinemas in the kingdom, and will develop luxury and budget halls, plus infant movie theatres

Saudi Arabia's first cinema opened earlier this year [image: Arabian Business].
Saudi Arabia's first cinema opened earlier this year [image: Arabian Business].

Lux Entertainment, a three-strong consortium comprised of Saudi Arabian, US, and UAE firms, has been granted the fourth license to operate cinemas in the kingdom.

The alliance of Saudi-based Al-Hokair Group, Cinepolis Cinemas, and Dubai's Al-Tayer Group plans to build 300 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia, a strategy forged after the kingdom ended a ban on cinemas earlier this year.

Lux Entertainment's license was awarded by the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), a government organisation charged with regulating Saudi's nascent cinema industry.

READ: Deal inked to build 40 Saudi cinemas in five years

The consortium said its 300-screen plan included developing luxury and budget-friendly cinema halls, as well as infant movie theatres.

All of these will be built and operated "in alignment with the rules and regulations of the GCAM," Lux Entertainment said in an update on the Tadawul

The US arm of the consortium, Cinepolis Cinemas, is the fourth-largest cinema operator in the world, managing more than 650 cinemas in 14 countries. Al-Tayer Group, meanwhile, is among the Middle East's prominent luxury retailers, and also features a real estate arm.

The end of Saudi Arabia's ban on cinemas came as part of the kingdom's efforts to boost the entertainment sector as part of its Vision 2030 strategy. Among the biggest plans to promote entertainment in the country is the 334km2 Qiddiya entertainment city, located 40km west of Saudi's capital city, Riyadh. The metropolis will be home to amusement parks, game cities, racing fields, and safaris upon completion.  

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