RIYADH: Saudi artists, actors, filmmakers and other creatives are celebrating another victory as the industry continues to move forward with unprecedented government support.
Eighty professions across a range of cultural sectors have won approval for registration under the Unified Saudi Occupational Classification, Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan announced.
The move follows a Ministry of Culture proposal to the Council of Ministers to allow registration of 400 professions.
Saudis will be to register for jobs in the professions and obtain official licenses following the decision. The announcement also highlights the ministry’s support for arts and culture, a role it has undertaken since its initiation in March 2019.
The minister took to Twitter to announce the decision and his hopes for the future, as well as to thank the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development for its contributions.
“Work continues with our partners in the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to include cultural sector professions to reach a total of almost 400 professions, with even better things to come,” he said.
According to SPA, these occupations were added after research into the state of the Saudi cultural industry.
The first stage of the operation has resulted in the inclusion of more than 80 professions, including artistic and cultural occupations, such as theater producer, film director, lighting designer, document and manuscript restoration specialist, exhibition designer, textile designer and curator.
Cultural sectors outlined by the ministry include heritage, language, books and publishing, libraries, fashion arts, theater and performing arts, culinary arts, films, museums, visual arts, festivals and cultural events, architecture and design as well as careers in educational development for the cultural sector and media design.
This decision marks the first time in the history of the Kingdom that Saudi artists can obtain official professional status, which the ministry hopes will increase the pace of cultural production and boost opportunities for professionals.
Saudi creatives and artists welcomed the decision, with many expressing optimism about the future of creative industries following the decision.
Aseil Bafarat, a Jeddah-based filmmaker and CEO of the Fax Machine Co., said that for many Saudis it could be a long-awaited opportunity to find more work and support in the creative field.
“It is a great step forward to acknowledge the cultural importance of the creative fields. Hopefully now these creatives understand the extent of their expression as a part of this newfound Saudi identity,” he said. “So many people deserve exposure,” he said.