How to get a movie ticket in Riyadh: Try early, try often

Film fans celebrate the end of Saudi Arabia’s 35-year ban on cinemas. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018
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How to get a movie ticket in Riyadh: Try early, try often

  • VOX plans to open 600 screens in the Kingdom over the next five years. But until then, it’s a case of “first come, first served.”

RIYADH: Ever since movie theaters opened in Riyadh in April — bringing an end to the Kingdom’s 35-year ban on public screenings — cinema fans have been scrambling to get to the movies.

Tickets have been regularly selling out online to movies at the only two theaters in Riyadh: AMC in King Abdullah District and VOX in Riyadh Park Mall.  

“I couldn’t seem to book tickets,” said Latifa Al-Dossary, a university student. “They’re always sold out or the timings available are usually early morning. But after trying many times — excessively, obsessively — I made it my mission to get myself and my friends tickets and I succeeded, finally.”

Mona Khalid, a physician at a government hospital, has also had a hard time finding a time to take her family to the movies. “VOX sells tickets for the upcoming three days. I found out after many failed attempts at buying tickets, that early mornings are usually open and the best time to go with the kids,” she said. 

There are also limits to how many tickets filmgoers can buy. At AMC, the maximum number of tickets in one booking is limited to six. However, VOX offers a maximum of 10 tickets per booking. 

VOX plans to open 600 screens in the Kingdom over the next five years. But until then, it’s a case of “first come, first served.”


Trump: US needs Saudi Arabia in fight against terrorism

Updated 17 October 2018
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Trump: US needs Saudi Arabia in fight against terrorism

  • US president says he does not want to walk away from the Kingdom 
  • Secretary of State says Turkish president made clear to him that Saudi Arabia is cooperating in Khashoggi investigation

LONDON: Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US needs Saudi Arabia in the fight against terrorism and that he did not want to walk away from the Kingdom. 

His comments came after US Secretary of Sate Mike Pompeo met the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan made clear that Saudi Arabia is cooperating in the investigation, Pompeo said, the day after he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. 

"You know we need Saudi Arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism, everything that's happening in Iran and other places,” Trump told Fox Business in response to questions about the Khashoggi case.

The US president said he did not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia.

“They have a tremendous order, $110 billion,” he said, in reference to US arms sales to the Kingdom.

Trump said later on Wednesday the US had asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence it may have related to the case but was not sure whether any such evidence exists.

"We have asked for it, if it exists ... I'm not sure yet that it exists," Trump said at the White House. "I'll have a full report on that from Mike (Pompeo) when he comes back."

On Tuesday, Trump criticized global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s disappearance, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Kingdom’s request for patience.

Khashoggi, who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. 

Saudi Arabia, which denies any involvement in the kidnapping or killing of Khashoggi, has set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance with Turkey.

As he returned to the US from Turkey, Pompeo said President Erdogan “made clear that the Saudis had cooperated with the investigation that the Turks are engaged in and they are going to share information.”

“There have been a couple of delays but they seemed pretty confident that the Saudis would permit them to do the things they need to do to complete their thorough and complete investigation,” he said.

He added that the US must be mindful of the important business and government ties with the Kingdom, once the facts of the case have been determined.