Dar Al Arkan signs deal with Majid Al-Futtaim for VOX Cinemas multiplex at Al-Qasr Mall in Riyadh

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan has announced that it has signed an agreement in Riyadh with Majid Al-Futtaim to open a VOX Cinemas multiplex in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied: Dar Al Arkan)
Updated 05 September 2018
0

Dar Al Arkan signs deal with Majid Al-Futtaim for VOX Cinemas multiplex at Al-Qasr Mall in Riyadh

  • VOX will operate the new 15-screen multiplex, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019
  • VOX Cinemas is the largest cinema operator in the MENA region and the leading regional cinema operator in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan has announced that it has signed an agreement in Riyadh with Majid Al-Futtaim to open a VOX Cinemas multiplex in Saudi Arabia.
VOX will operate the new 15-screen multiplex, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, at Dar Al Arkan’s Al-Qasr Mall in the Saudi Arabian capital. The project will also include outlets, restaurants and an indoor bowling alley.
Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Shelash, Dar Al Arkan chairman, said: “Majid Al-Futtaim is a perfect partner that will help us create a unique experience at Al-Qasr Mall for Riyadh residents and visitors.
“Al-Qasr Mall is an ideal site for this new feature in family entertainment and is expected to become a celebrated addition to our existing and diverse selection of outlets that offer something for everyone.”
He added: “These are exciting times for Saudi Arabia and we are delighted to be playing a small but significant part toward achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to build an entire ecosystem for arts, tourism and entertainment.”
Kelvin Kwok Han Sim, CEO of Dar Al Arkan said: “The new cinema complex will feature the next generation technology fit for the current sophisticated and tech-savvy Saudi movie-buffs. This is a significant contribution and a novel addition to the evolving Saudi-cinema-culture.”
Cinemas had been banned in the country since the early 1980s but were reopened earlier this year as part of reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In April, Marvel’s “Black Panther” made history as the first new release in the Kingdom for 35 years.
While regional and international cinema chains are eyeing the Saudi market — keen to tap into the spending power of the country’s young population — VOX Cinemas is the largest cinema operator in the MENA region and the leading regional cinema operator in the Kingdom.


Selling sketches and clothes, Libyan women set up businesses against the odds

Updated 55 min 8 sec ago
0

Selling sketches and clothes, Libyan women set up businesses against the odds

  • Libya has only a tiny private sector and the economy is dominated by the state
  • Cumulative inflation over the last four years has seen real incomes lose more than half of their purchasing power

TRIPOLI: When inflation began eating into her state-paid salary Libyan architect and assistant professor Seham Saleh started selling drawings over the Internet to help pay the bills.
She joins a growing number of Libyan women launching start-ups in the conservative Arab country, where many still think a woman’s place is in the home but where the strains on personal and family income following years’ of political chaos have forced women to look for more work.
Libya has only a tiny private sector, which means there is a market for locally-produced goods. The economy is dominated by the state, which employs most adults under a structure set up by Muammar Qaddafi, who was toppled in 2011.
Men are the traditional breadwinners, although around 30 percent of women were in the labor force as of 2015, according to a UN report.
“I cannot live on my assistant professor salary of 1,000 dinars ($256) even if it is paid out,” said Saleh. She has been selling drawings of people in Libyan dress or book marks she created on a computer.
“Thank God... people wanted to buy the products,” she said. She also does freelance work as an architect.
Once one of the richest countries in the region, the chaos and civil war that ensued after the fall of Qaddafi has seen Libya’s living standards erode. Little is now produced in Libya other than oil, even milk is imported from Europe.
Cumulative inflation over the last four years has seen real incomes lose more than half of their purchasing power, and the government effectively devalued the dinar last September.
A cash crisis means public servants often do not get their salaries paid out in full. Lenders have no cash deposits as the rich prefer to hold their cash themselves, rather than deposit it in a bank.
Women rarely had jobs outside of sectors such as teaching, although the need for more family income has changed the situation, said Jasmin Khoja, head of a women’s business support venture.
Her organization, the Jusoor center for studies and development, has trained some 33 would-be female entrepreneurs, offers legal advice and office space as women often can’t afford their own.
While Seham’s “Naksha” art business is in its early stages, others such as Najwa Shoukri’s start-up are growing fast. She started designing clothes from home in 2016, and selling them online.
Now, together with five other women, she has a workshop selling 50 pieces a month and plans to open a shop next year on Jaraba Street, the main fashion shopping avenue in Tripoli.
To make the shop a success her output would have to rise to 150 pieces a month. Her brother and family have contributed to investments worth 10,000 dinars.
The biggest challenges for start-ups are legal hurdles and the lack of electronic payment systems.
Some Libyan commercial laws go back to the 1960s and are aimed at big corporations such as oil firms, not start-ups. Under these regulations firms need to deposit thousands of dinars.
“Banks do not give loans, which stops projects and makes them unable to grow or employ other women and young people,” Khoja said.
Undeterred, Mayaz Elahshmi started a business last week training women to fix computers and smartphones.
“There is big demand as many women are reluctant to go to a phone shop where men work, as they have personal files on their phones.”
Six people came to her first training session, each paying 30 dinars.