quotes Creating a world-class entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia

29 July 2019
Updated 30 July 2019

Creating a world-class entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Seasons represents the latest step in our collective efforts to create a world-class entertainment industry in the Kingdom, and to establish the country as a key hub for major cultural, business and sporting events in the region.

The innovative initiative, launched earlier this year under the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
forms an integral part of the Vision 2030 strategy, and shines a spotlight on the Kingdom’s most exciting cultural, touristic and historical attractions.

Over the course of 11 months, our great national customs, remarkable heritage and famous Arabian hospitality will be showcased to the world through a series of landmark events that cover key regions and cities across the Kingdom. Twelve unique “seasons” will be staged throughout 2019 and 2020: Eastern Province, Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr, Jeddah, Al-Soudah, Taif, Eid Al-Adha, National Day, Riyadh, Diriyah, Al-Ula and Hail.

From live concerts and sporting events to major conferences and cultural exhibitions, Saudi Seasons is introducing exclusive firsts that will revive the entertainment sector and ultimately position the Kingdom as a world-class tourism destination.

I am proud of the role that the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is playing in supporting this groundbreaking initiative. To date, the GEA has actively participated in the Al-Sharqiyah, Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Jeddah seasons, staging major international events that have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the Kingdom, the region and the world.

These events have enhanced our nation’s social fabric by providing exciting entertainment options for 33 million Saudis and thousands of international visitors. They have also created important revenue streams for the Saudi economy, further aiding our country’s long-term economic diversification strategy and helping deliver the ambitions of Vision 2030.

Through this program, the GEA is committed to supporting and nurturing local talent, developing a thriving entertainment industry that will create truly exciting employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young Saudis, and further extending and preserving the Kingdom’s centuries-old cultural legacy.

Working with the private sector, we envisage a strong and sustainable entertainment industry that will not only add billions to the economy, but will also showcase Saudi Arabia’s incredible culture, history and society.

• Amr Banaja is CEO of the General Entertainment Authority.