Yemen meeting backs raids, seeks safe zones

Updated 20 May 2015

Yemen meeting backs raids, seeks safe zones

RIYADH: Yemeni political factions voiced support Tuesday for Saudi-led forces fighting Iran-backed rebels, calling for safe zones in the war-torn nation allowing the exiled government to resume its duties.

“We support this resistance to go on fighting (rebel) forces,” President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told about 300 delegates at the close of a three-day meeting in Riyadh.
A closing statement at the conference sought quicker delivery of supplies to pro-government forces including “logistical equipment and weapons.” It also called for a safe zone where government institutions could resume their activities.
The conference attendees suggested an Arab peacekeeping force to secure Yemen's major cities, with UN Security Council approval, Transport Minister Bader Ba-Salama told AFP.
Hadi said “dialogue is the only way to take Yemen out of its deadlock”, but added that any talks with rebels must take into account Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls on the Houthis to relinquish territory they have seized.
A spectrum of Yemeni political parties participating in the conference, excluding Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh – inked what has been termed as the “Riyadh Document.”
The conciliatory conference, sponsored by the GCC to bring together different factions in the crisis-hit country, had already set the first draft of the document on Monday.
The document included articles that urge the establishment of an army, demanding from international organizations to withhold any dealings with “coup leaders,” a reference to Houthi militias.
On the humanitarian level, the document stipulates that civilians who have been affected by the war will be compensated, especially in the city of Saada, which would be rebuilt to return to its state prior to the 2004 war.
The document also requests that refugee camps be built within Yemen to host all the displaced civilians. It pledges that fast solutions will be found to solve the problems of Yemenis stranded outside their country.
The Riyadh Document requests creating new job opportunities for Yemenis in GCC countries, as well as harboring support from the international community and the GCC to build a sustainable economy and create an infrastructure for investments in Yemen.
On the military front, Yemenis in Riyadh would pledge to support their national army as protectors of the country. According to the document, the national army will incorporate the Popular Resistance.
Finally, the Riyadh Document pledged to discuss the draft of the constitution to encourage public debate and plan a referendum.


Cinema investment in Saudi Arabia set to hit SR5bn in 2020

Updated 28 January 2020

Cinema investment in Saudi Arabia set to hit SR5bn in 2020

  • Saudi conference study reveals 140 cinemas planned for Kingdom creating estimated 5,300 jobs
  • One of the main goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan was to increase household spending on domestic entertainment from 2.9 percent to 6 percent of total expenditure

RIYADH: Investment in building new cinemas in Saudi Arabia was expected to top SR5 billion ($1.33 billion) during 2020, according to latest figures.

Data published ahead of the Cinema Build KSA 2020 conference, taking place at the Fairmont hotel in Riyadh on Feb. 19 to 20, revealed that 140 movie theaters were planned to open in 30 malls throughout the Kingdom, creating more than 5,300 job opportunities.

The Saudi cinema industry would see enormous growth and was set to become the leader in the region having already gained attention from stakeholders around the globe, research from conference partner Great Minds Group predicted.

With a total of 1,323 screens planned for the country, demand for materials and resources to build cinemas has increased dramatically.

The Cinema Build KSA report revealed that an estimated 158,760 cinema seats and more than 5,953,500 square feet of carpet would be required to realize this year’s growth plans, in addition to more than 18,852,750 square feet of gypsum boards, wall panels, and specialist ceiling materials and 1,250 air-handling units.

One of the main goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan was to increase household spending on domestic entertainment from 2.9 percent to 6 percent of total expenditure, considering that Saudi nationals spent about $30 billion annually on tourism and entertainment outside the Kingdom.

Supporting and enhancing the fast-growing cinema sector would not only recover Saudi investments abroad but would also create more than 5,314 job opportunities in 2020 in the Saudi market, according to the Cinema Build KSA report.

The Saudi cinema industry was predicted to see enormous growth and being the largest gathering of cinema stakeholders in the Kingdom, Cinema Build KSA 2020 aims to serve as a learning center for building world-class film theaters.

The event is organized by Eyes of Cities in association with the Great Minds Group. Boasting more than 300 attendees, at least 30 sponsors and exhibitors, and 25 international speakers, the second annual conference will cover a broader aspect of the burgeoning cinema industry in the Kingdom.