Applying for Saudi entertainment license simplified with new online system

1 / 5
Siham Hassanain, president and founder of Siham International Trading Company, represented her company at the Invest in Entertainment event in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
2 / 5
Investors in the entertainment sector during the speed networking meeting in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
3 / 5
Investors in the entertainment sector during the speed networking meeting in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
4 / 5
5 / 5
Updated 30 August 2019

Applying for Saudi entertainment license simplified with new online system

  • The Kingdom hopes to stimulate investment in the entertainment sector and enhance economic activity

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority has launched a new online system to simplify the process for applying for entertainment licenses. Investors and other interested parties gathered on Wednesday at a special launch event to find out more about the new application portal and the range of licenses recently introduced.

“The purpose of offering this range of licenses is to encourage investment in the entertainment sector, which is a vital and promising sector,” said Sultan Al-Fakeer, the GEA’s chief operations officer. He added that the new online platform offers a clear and simple system through which to apply for the licenses.

The permits are part of the efforts the Kingdom is making to stimulate investment in the entertainment sector and enhance economic activity to help achieve the strategic objectives of Vision 2030. The GEA this year introduced entertainment seasons in each city and region and is encouraging local investors and small and medium businesses to participate. The online license-application portal is part of the efforts being made to make this as easy as possible.




Investors in the entertainment sector during the speed networking meeting in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)

Hundreds of investors and others with interests in the entertainment sector, including stakeholders from the government and private sectors, attended the Invest in Entertainment event on Wednesday at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. It offered them a chance to network and build contacts, and GEA officials were on hand to explain the new online licensing system and the procedures for obtaining permits. These cover a wide range of entertainment-related activities and venues, including live shows and performances, events, theme parks, entertainment centers, leisure facilities, live entertainment in coffee shops and restaurants, organizing and managing crowds, selling tickets, talent management and operating entertainment facilities.

“With this exhibition, we created a speed networking meeting format to accelerate business contacts and exchange information for future cooperation,” said Al-Fakeer. “There are plans to take this exhibition to other cities in the Kingdom during the coming year.”

Most of the investors invited to the information and networking event were from Saudi Arabia, he said.

The purpose of offering this range of licenses is to encourage investment in the entertainment sector, which is a vital and promising sector.

Sultan Al-Fakeer, GEA chief operations officer

“Another exhibition will be launched soon for both Saudi and foreign investors to attract international and local investments in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Fakeer added.

Siham Hassanain, the president and founder of Siham International Trading Company, said she took part in the event to connect with investors, as her goal is to create an international Saudi brand operating to the highest of standards.

“We have been in the market for 11 years,” she said. “Our head office is in Jeddah and we specialize in restaurants, catering and branding. We focus on creating local restaurants following international standards.”

Hassanain — whose brands include restaurants Zodiac Cuisine and Kooz Karak, and nail spa Milk and Butter — said that she was happy to attend the event because working with the GEA as part of Jeddah Season had been a positive experience for her company. 

She added that she will also be participating in Riyadh Season, and her first restaurant in London is due to open next month.


Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

Updated 16 September 2019

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

  • We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season, says GEA CEO Amr Banaja

RIYADH: Fireworks, concerts, festivals and international performances will be among the highlights of the 89th Saudi National Day celebrations this year.

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a season of record-breaking events for the annual celebration.

At a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday, GEA CEO Amr Banaja said that Saudi citizens and residents can enjoy a number of entertainment activities planned across 13 regions of the Kingdom as part of the National Day season being supervised by the GEA from Sept. 19 to 23.

“The GEA is proud to oversee the Saudi National Day Season activities by launching a unified identity that brings together the society under “Himma Hatta El-Qimmah,” Banaja said, inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “The Saudis’ strength is like that of the Tuwaiq mountain.”

The GEA was proud to be overseeing the occasion, Banaja said. “We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season befitting this dear country,” he said.

“This year fireworks celebrations will continue for several days where more than 700,000 shots will be fired at an altitude of up to 300 meters, accompanied by music,” he said.

Celebrations will be held in all regions during the season, and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities that reflected the unity of the nation and the cohesion of the people and leadership.

“Distinctive international shows designed especially for the National Day will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 21-23,” he said.

Fireworks will light up Jeddah over Al-Hamra Corniche accompanied by sound and light effects and laser shows.

At the five-day Dhahran Exhibition in Dammam starting on Sept. 19, the world’s largest theatrical producer “Cirque du Soleil” will present a specially designed show for Saudi National Day.

Forty artists will present 14 shows of acrobatics, sports, music, and dance. Eight concerts will also be held in a number of regions where, besides international stars, Saudi and Gulf artists will present patriotic songs.

The concerts will begin on the first day of the season on Sept. 19 at Al-Jouf University Stadium in Sakaka with performances by Khaled Abdulrahman and Nabil Shuail.

The next day, a concert will be held at King Khalid Sport City in Tabuk staged by artists Abdullah Al-Rowaished and Aseel Abu Bakr.

On Sept. 21, Majid Al-Mohandes and Dalia Mubarak will perform at Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Stadium in Hail.

On Sept. 22, two concerts will be performed at King Abdullah Sports City in Buraidah by artists Rashid Al-Majid and Balqees Fathi; the second at Prince Sultan Cultural Center in Jazan by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdo and Turki.

On Saudi National Day (Sept. 23), three concerts will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Thousands will gather at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh to listen to singers Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

In Jeddah, Rabeh Saqr and the artist Waad will perform at King Abdullah Sports City, while in Dammam, and in the Green Halls in Riyadh, Kuwaiti singer Nawal and the artist Ayed will entertain the audience.

Five forums will take place in five cities, where a number of speakers will present inspirational events.

Forums will be held in Madinah and Tabuk on Sept. 19, while in Abha and Buraidah the forum will be held on Sept. 21 and in Hail on Sept. 23.

Banaja said that the GEA had created 150 smartphone apps for the National Day celebrations with 40,000 downloaded so far.

He thanked the security authorities for their efforts to make the season a success, and all government, private and nonprofit sectors for their contribution.

The programs were mostly free, he said, though there were some concerts for which tickets could be purchased online.

There will also be a major aero show in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, and a Saudi falcon show will be organized in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.