Ramadan fun activities reflect on Saudi Arabia’s potential

Cirque du Soleil has reportedly signed a deal to perform in the Kingdom. Cirque du Soleil
Updated 23 May 2018
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Ramadan fun activities reflect on Saudi Arabia’s potential

  • Investors is increasing, although the sector is still experimenting
  • Creating an aqua park and three funfairs and the creation of an art and culture island in Jeddah

RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is one of the platforms used to reinforce morals, ethics, and Islamic values through practicing rituals.

However, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has been shouldering the responsibility to deliver and reinforce these values in its own way by supporting events across the Kingdom that introduce children and teenagers to the Kingdom’s culture, customs and traditions.
The huge number of events can surely play a role in helping more local and international investors to step into the market. Arab News met Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa, GEA media and communications manager, to discuss the potential this market has and the challenges it faces.
He explained that while the authority supports organization of events, not all receive financial backing.
“We can finance up to 30 percent  of events taking place in the Kingdom for the first time; the financial support is usually given to the most creative events. We are selective about the types of events we finance,” he said.
The GEA is building the industry to make it appealing to local and international investors.
Al-Khalifa added that the GEA’s main aim is to create competitiveness, raise standards and keep ticket prices at a suitable level for both investors and visitors.
“We do not directly control the pricing rate; however, we provide the investors and organizers with our consultations.”
It has set a target of running 5,500 events across the Kingdom’s 13 governorates during 2018.  
Currently, the number of investors is increasing, although the sector is still experimenting. The potential is extremely high, especially after the unveiling of the “Quality of Life 2020” program, aiming to enhance lifestyles for everyone in the Kingdom by 2020. This includes the establishment of one opera house and 16 theaters, opening 45 cinemas and 16 entertainment centers, creating an aqua park and three funfairs and the creation of an art and culture island in Jeddah.
Al-Khalifa added that the door is open for international investors. With the cooperation with General Investment Authority, high-profile meetings were held with entertainment investors and big companies’ CEOs in the US during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit.  And 350 international investors attended a summit in Los Angeles to hear more about opportunities in the Kingdom.
Five agreements were signed during the summit, including for a Cirque du Soleil performance, cooperation with Feld Entertainment Inc. to produce and conduct live shows, as well as Disney live shows. Cooperation with National Geographic will result in 10 virtual reality cities by 2019.

“Foreign investment will surely help with job creation for Saudi youth throughout the process of preparation, operation and execution, helping all parties to conduct win-win business,” he said.


Saudi Commission on Tourism and Heritage chief on official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Mohammad Abdulhameed is raising his daughter Maria single-handedly. (AN photo)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Saudi Commission on Tourism and Heritage chief on official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina 

JEDDAH: The president of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Tourism and National Heritage arrived in Sarajevo on Monday, as part of an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has expressed King Salman’s sincere greetings to the people and the government of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He was then received by the chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, at their headquarters in the capital, Sarajevo. 

Prince Sultan is on an official state visit to the Balkan state upon the instructions of King Salman, who is keen to bolster ties with the country and open new horizons of cooperation between both states.