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.


Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.