Jeddah symposium draws global security specialists

Specialists in the field of land and maritime border security from across the globe are taking part in the Jeddah symposium. (AN photo)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Jeddah symposium draws global security specialists

JEDDAH: Forty-five experts and speakers from 15 countries are taking part in the First International Symposium on Land and Maritime Border Security and Safety (challenges and solutions) in Jeddah.
The symposium will discuss several issues concerning the safety and security of sea ports and ground crossings, as well as the protection of vital facilities.
It was launched under the patronage of Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.
Dr. Mohammed Ali Koman, secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers Council, and Kiroja Michi Chini, representative of the secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), attended the opening ceremony.
Border Guards Director General Awad Al-Balawi said that the event aims to find solutions to combat cross-border crimes, such as drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings and all forms of transnational organized crime, strengthen national, regional and international cooperation, and review legislation, regulations and mechanisms that would prevent such crimes.
He also said that border security is of vital importance for improving national security and stability.
“Border security has faced hazardous challenges and threats caused by security and political crises in some countries, which contributed to an increase in the activities of terrorist organizations and organized transnational crime groups.”
Al-Balawi said: “Besides, maritime security threats have increased due to poor control of some seas and coasts, resulting in misusing them as transit areas to target countries.”
Al-Balawi said that improving maritime security is a key factor for maritime and international trade development and securing ports and shipping routes, which in turn ensures sustainable economic growth and food security.
“Hosting this important event, which is characterized by the participation of border and coastal security leaders and officials from 17 countries, is proof of Saudi Arabia’s important global role and evidence of its leading role in the region at political, economic and social levels,” he added.
The IMO official said that his organization had worked for more than 30 years on coordinating international efforts and collaborating with relevant bodies to improve performance at the national and regional levels.

 


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 27 min 54 sec ago
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.