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.