European Exhibitor Vue to Build Cinemas in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh Medical Village

Riyadh Medical Village

It will work with Abdulmohsin Al Hokair, which operates a number of shopping malls and hotel resorts in the country.

The proposed joint venture will see Vue establish cinemas in some of Al Hokair's existing sites as well as new developments - with the first cinema expected to open its doors as early as this year.

"Cinema has been an exciting form of out of home entertainment for over 100 years and the opening up of the Kingdom is testament to the industry's continuing growth and resilience". "They have some incredible plans in place and we would very much like to be a part of that going forward", he said. We are delighted to have been chosen to lead in the development of world-class cinemas and the big screen experience in Saudi Arabia.

Faisal Bafarat made the remarks at the Global Dialogues for Happiness that his country plans not only to re-open cinemas after a 39-year hiatus but also to put the conservative Arab oil state on the global map for festivals, sports events and family entertainment.

Saudi Arabia banned cinemas in the 1980s on the ground that they represented a possible threat to religious and cultural identity.

In October a year ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, considered the mastermind of Vision 2030, said at the Future Investment Summit in Riyadh that he want to return his country to a "moderate Islam" which was present in the kingdom before 1979.

Wood has worked with Saudi Aramco for more than 30 years.

The move follows an announcement by AMC Theaters in December that it was exploring options in Saudi Arabia, while regional operator Vox said it was hoping to play an "active role" in developments.