Mideast to add 500 cinema screens in 3-5 years

Amer bin Ahmed
Updated 20 October 2018
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Mideast to add 500 cinema screens in 3-5 years

The number of cinema screens is set to jump 38.4 percent to 1,800 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the next three to five years, up from 1,300 at present, according to a research by PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC), a professional services firm and the knowledge partner of the MENA Cinema Forum.

“There are around 1,300 cinema screens in the MENA region and the number is growing,” said Dr. Martin Berlin, partner and global deals real estate leader at PWC. “We expect 500 new cinema screens to be set up in the MENA region and the majority will be in Saudi Arabia.”

“The biggest opportunities will come from the opening of the Saudi market, followed by the opportunity from sophisticated pricing mechanisms where cinema operators offer price differentiations based on particular timings and days — to help increase box office revenues,” Dr. Berlin said.

The PWC research, to be released at the inaugural two-day MENA Cinema Forum from Oct. 28-29, will offer a detailed research on the current situation and future growth potential of the cinema industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Leila Masinaei, managing director of GM Events, organizer of the MENA Cinema Forum, said: “The 38.4 percent additional cinema screens will help the entertainment market to grow faster as additional capacities will be high enough to meet the growing demand that is expected to come from Saudi Arabian market.

“The recent liberalization and reform initiatives in Saudi Arabia have opened up a lot of opportunities for industry that will see the biggest boom in the entertainment and cinema industry. Saudi Arabia will soon emerge as the fastest growing market for entertainment.”

Knauf Middle East, a major player in the supply of cinema systems, is optimistic about the growing prospects of its business in the GCC.

“We have been very active doing major projects in Saudi Arabia for many years and are looking forward to bringing our expertise to the Kingdom,” said Amer bin Ahmed, managing director, Knauf, Middle East and India.


AHG denies link with Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises

Updated 16 January 2019
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AHG denies link with Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises

Al-Habtoor Group (AHG) has clarified that the group and all its divisions, including Habtoor Hospitality (Habtoor Hotels) have no link or relationship of any kind with Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises (HTE) and its owner Rashid Al-Habtoor.

This is following news released in major Indian and Middle Eastern media about a potential acquisition of the Leela Group of Hotels in India (Hotel Leela venture) by Rashid Al-Habtoor, founder and owner of Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises.

A spokesperson for Al-Habtoor Group said: “We feel obligated to clarify that Al-Habtoor Group in all its divisions and Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises are two separate entities. Habtoor Hospitality, commonly known as Habtoor Hotels, is owned solely by Al-Habtoor Group in the UAE and overseas.”

“... Any actions or business decisions taken by Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises or any of their associates are their sole responsibility, and Al-Habtoor Group is not liable under any circumstance for any damages or liabilities arising directly or indirectly from Al-Habtoor Trading Enterprises business ventures.”