3rd META Cinema Forum to screen at Vox Cinemas

The META Cinema Forum, now in its 3rd edition, is the biggest cinema convention covering the Middle East and African markets. It takes place on Oct. 27 and 28.
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Updated 01 October 2020

3rd META Cinema Forum to screen at Vox Cinemas

Now in its 3rd edition, META Cinema Forum is the biggest cinema convention covering the Middle East and African markets. After signing an agreement with the Pan African Film Consortium, the MENA Cinema Forum is now rebranded as META Cinema Forum, inclusive of the Middle East and the entire African continent.

The forum takes place on Oct. 27 and 28 and is set to be one of the only annual events for the cinema industry in 2020 as most global conventions were canceled as a result of the pandemic and will be executed in a hybrid format. The forum will give delegates the option between attending physically at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and Sheraton Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, or alternatively delegates can attend virtually from the comfort of their home or offices across the globe via video conferencing technology.

“The cinema industry has been among the most impacted sectors by the pandemic, but if the $54 million box office sales of Tenet, the first blockbuster release since the pandemic, in its opening week at select international markets has proven anything, is that moviegoing is a habit we do not wish to kick, and that passion for movies and cinema as a form of accessible entertainment is here to stay,” said Leila Masinaei, META Cinema Forum Conference director and managing partner of Great Minds Event Management.

“Therefore, in close coordination with the major global stakeholders, we came up with a true hybrid event, the first of its kind in the world for the cinema industry, to facilitate collaborations that are required to help with the recovery. The event will highlight the plan for projects in the region, the recovery phase for the cinema industry, and content diversification as key critical elements.”

The forum includes a one-day, knowledge-packed conference, select slate presentations of upcoming content and films from leading Hollywood and international studios, a live META Cinema Projects Insight session with the most senior cinema leaders in the region and rounded off with a networking after-event reception.

Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al-Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, said: “At Vox Cinemas, we remain fundamentally confident about the future and resilience of the cinema industry, which has weathered many societal storms and survived more than a century of challenges ... We have witnessed a significant increase in our box office following the first wave of new releases and, with a backlog of blockbusters about to light up our screens regionally, cinema is set for a major comeback.”

The third edition is officially supported by some of the biggest cinema operators in the Middle East including Vox Cinemas, Novo Cinemas, Cinépolis Cinemas, and AMC Cinemas.


Hyatt Regency Riyadh bags global hygiene accreditation

Updated 22 October 2020

Hyatt Regency Riyadh bags global hygiene accreditation

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has become the first hotel in Saudi Arabia and one of the first hotels in the Middle East to be accredited by Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR in September. GBAC is the gold standard for prepared facilities, and the accreditation further enhances the operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety at the hotel.

The accreditation builds on the Hyatt brand’s existing rigorous protocols, colleague training, support resources and a cross-functional working group of medical experts and industry professionals that contribute to various aspects of the hotel experience. Under the guidance of GBAC, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facility.

“The world as we knew it has been changed by COVID-19, and when our guests are ready to travel again, we want to ensure them that they can feel confident that each aspect of our commitment is designed with their safety in mind, and that we’re putting their well-being first,” said Walid El-Awadly, general manager. “To do this, we must critically examine the hotel experience from every vantage point and think about what matters the most from our guests’ point of view — from rooms and lobby to spa and dining — bringing in the latest research, technology and innovations to make that happen. The GBAC accreditation is an important hygiene and cleanliness milestone, marking our purpose to care for people so they can be their best — always.”

The hotel received its GBAC STAR accreditation through a performance-based cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program that focuses on establishing that the hotel environment is sanitary, safe and healthy. 

“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely,” she added. Furthermore, the hotel intends to complement this accreditation with regular internal and third-party auditing. 

Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the GBAC provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. 

As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. 

The program verifies that Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.