Complete plans in 90 days to facilitate Saudi cinema launch

Saudis will soon be able to visit cinemas across the Kingdom. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 January 2018
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Complete plans in 90 days to facilitate Saudi cinema launch

RIYADH: The General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) on Thursday held a meeting headed by the chairman of the committee, Reda bin Mohammed Al-Haidar, with a number of government authorities.
The meeting was to prepare regulations and set the framework for the GCAM in preparation for the opening of cinemas in Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah Al-Shamlani, the official spokesperson for the GCAM, told Arab News: “We are still working with government officials and private companies. In 90 days, we will have the details. The meetings, thus far have been very productive.”
Al-Haidar stressed that the goal of the meeting was to discuss the executive plan and requirements of the parties to launch a cinema that corresponds with national values through meaningful content that is consistent with Sharia and will preserve the ethical values of the Kingdom.
Al-Haidar explained that the authority will continue to hold similar meetings with government authorities at its headquarters in Riyadh until the issuance of the list of theaters.
The board of directors of the GCAM, chaired by Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awad Al-Awad, on Dec. 11 had approved the issuance of licenses for those wishing to open cinemas, with the goal of promoting cultural and media development.
The opening of cinemas will stimulate economic growth, and provide jobs and various career opportunities in new areas.
Ever since Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information announced that commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the Kingdom as of early 2018, there have been questions regarding when, where and what regulations will be applied.
After 35 years, Saudi Arabia will reopen cinemas in the country. The announcement opens up a domestic market of more than 32 million people and it is forecast that by 2030, Saudi Arabia will be home to more than 300 cinemas, according to the board of the GCAM.


Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

Updated 6 min 20 sec ago
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Houthis targetted civilian facility in Najran with an explosives-laden drone, says Arab Coalition

  • Houthis also fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah on Monday

RIYADH: Houthi militants had tried to hit a civilian facility in Saudi Arabia's southern border province of Najran with a drone carrying explosives, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition said the target was a vital facility.
"The Houthi-backed terrorist militia of Iran continues to carry out acts of terrorism that pose a real threat to regional and international security by targeting civilian objects and civilian facilities, as well as civilian citizens and residents of all nationalities," Al-Maliki said.

The statement did not mention casualties and gave no further details.

Earlier on Monday, Al-Maliki said Houthis fired two ballistic missiles toward the holy city of Makkah and Jeddah but both were shot down by Saudi air defense forces.

The Iran-backed Houthis have fired dozens of missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, since the Arab Coalition intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which was ousted in a Houthi coup.