Vue to open 30 KSA cinemas

Vue International is eyeing expansion in Saudi Arabia. (Photo courtesy of Vue)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Vue to open 30 KSA cinemas

LONDON: Vue International will open up to 30 multiplex cinemas in Saudi Arabia over the next three years after signing a deal with Riyadh-based Abdulmohsin Al-Hokair Holding Group.
The official memorandum of understanding signed on Monday follows the announcement last December that Saudi Arabia would lift the ban on commercial cinemas for the first time in 35 years.
Vue International has been in talks with Riyadh since last October. The cinema chain was the only operator to be invited to the Future Investment Initiative event held that month.
“This is a huge moment in the history of global cinema development for the exhibition industry and we are honored to be partnering with such a well-regarded and prestigious operator,” said Tim Richards, founder and chief executive, Vue International in a statement.
“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.”
The first cinemas could be opened later this year, according to Vue International.
Al-Hokair Group is known in the region for building and operating leisure and hospitality complexes, and currently owns and operates three shopping centers, 79 entertainment centers and 45 hotels in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Egypt.


Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaks at a panel on ‘Social Media: Saving or enslaving users?’ in the World Youth Forum at Sharm El Sheikh on November 5, 2018. (Pedro Costa Gomes/Bee Interactive/AFP)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks

  • The Supreme Media Regulatory Council will also be able to impose stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian pounds
  • Prominent Egyptian journalists are calling the measures unconstitutional

CAIRO: Egypt’s top media regulator has put into effect tighter restrictions that allow the state to block websites and even social media accounts with over 5,000 followers if they’re deemed a threat to national security.
The Supreme Media Regulatory Council will also be able to impose stiff penalties of up to 250,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,400), all without having to obtain a court order.
Critics say some of the measures, published in the official gazette late Monday, are stricter than those approved by lawmakers last year.
Prominent Egyptian journalists are calling the measures unconstitutional, saying they grant far-reaching powers to authorities to censor the media, in violation of basic press freedoms.
Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz says he and fellow member of the journalists’ union will mount a legal challenge to the new measures.