We’ve long maintained that Saudi Arabia is the next potential leisure market to monitor in the Middle East. With a population 3 times the size of the UAE, superior resource wealth, and almost zero development of leisure and entertainment, the market is fertile ground for our industry.
As part of the Vision 2030 plan, not only are culture and entertainment developments being encouraged, they are being actively promoted by the Kingdom – Qiddiya, the 334 square kilometer entertainment city south of Riyadh, is supported by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s main sovereign fund.
This follows similar moves in the cinema industry; the Kingdom actually showcased some short films from local filmmakers at Cannes this year, while AMC was granted a license to operate cinemas in the kingdom, with a target of opening 30-40 across 15 cities in the first 5 years.
These developments are supported by hearty fundamentals. Consider that:
- Saudi Arabia’s population is more than 33.4 million, with nearly 60% under the age of 35.
- The Kingdom holds 16% of the entire globe’s proven oil reserves.
- Currently household spending on culture & entertainment is 3%. Compare this to the ratio in China, which is 9%, the latter of which is still low compared to developed markets like the United States, at 17%!
- This doesn’t mean that Saudis don’t spend on leisure and entertainment. In fact, the consensus is that this spending is ‘leaked’ abroad, where Saudis spend approximately $8b annually on entertainment & recreation while overseas.
- To capture this opportunity, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has earmarked $64 billion to invest in the entertainment industry over the next decade.
There are strong reasons to believe that the center of attractions and leisure development will start to move westward from the UAE to Saudi Arabia, which has the potential to eclipse the former.
If you want to be in the know, we strongly encourage you to consider attending or learning more about the upcoming Attractions and Leisure Development Saudi Arabia conference. Featured speakers include government ministers from the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs as well as the Ministry of Commerce and Investments, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and King Abdullah Economic City.
Attractions and Leisure Development Middle East
22-24 October, 2018
Roda Al Bustan, Dubai, UAE
We are pleased to bring you the Attractions, Leisure and Tourism Middle East mega show taking place in Dubai this October. In line with the theme of attracting global visitors, activating partnership strategies and creating world-class experiences, the show is packed with dedicated streams on cultural tourism, attractions & leisure development, tourism; tech talks; live seminars; strategy site visits; interactive workshops, and much more. Rub your shoulders with over 500 of the region’s premium executives involved in the developing attractions and boosting tourism in Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE.
Find more details here.