VOX Cinemas quenching Saudi Arabia’s post-pandemic film thirst

VOX Cinemas quenching Saudi Arabia’s post-pandemic film thirst
Sunday marked the opening of VOX Cinemas’ 11th movie theater in KSA. (Supplied)
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Updated 02 December 2020

VOX Cinemas quenching Saudi Arabia’s post-pandemic film thirst

VOX Cinemas quenching Saudi Arabia’s post-pandemic film thirst
  • Sunday evening marked the Jeddah opening of VOX Cinemas’ 11th movie theater in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Months after lockdown, Saudis have resumed entertainment activities, with venues such as VOX Cinemas promising a safe and secure experience amid brave plans for expansion.
Sunday evening marked the Jeddah opening of VOX Cinemas’ 11th movie theater in Saudi Arabia, further consolidating its ambitious expansion plans across the Kingdom in spite of the pandemic, which placed the country under lockdown for more than three months.
Speaking to Arab News, Mohamed Al-Hashemi, country head of Majid Al-Futtaim Ventures in Saudi Arabia, said that visitor numbers are increasing, and “the main aim nowadays is that visitors come back to cinema with confidence that the place they are visiting is clean and safe.”
He added that since the easing of the lockdown, there are promising indications of growing visitor numbers. Al-Hashemi said the company is the biggest cinema house operator in Saudi Arabia in regard to the number of halls, screens and visitors.
“After each show, we insist on social distancing and have the surfaces cleaned and the seats sterilized. In fact, we take all the precautionary health measures to ensure our visitors have a safe and comfortable cinema experience. This has caused a spending upsurge, but that was a necessity,” he said.
Al-Hashemi said that although cinemas were affected by the pandemic, the effects were not limited to the entertainment sector.
“Like all other companies in the market, the pandemic has affected us, but with the government we are committed to all measures. One hand cannot clap. We have a role to play along with the roles the government is playing to confront the pandemic. Luckily, we bypassed the lockdown stage. Our goal now is to regain people’s confidence in these entertainment and cinema locations. With time, this trust will increase more and more,” he said.
With Saudi’s “thirst” for more cinema experiences, Majid Al-Futtaim’s VOX Cinemas is keen to expand its presence in the Kingdom’s entertainment market, which means reaching cinema fans no matter where they are in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Hashemi said that the more cinemas that are opened, the more job opportunities are created.
“We bring people who are looking for a source of income. We train them, qualify them and then offer them job opportunities. It is a give-and-take equation,” he added.
 


Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 25 January 2021

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
  • Saudi Arabia continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked 14th internationally for its COVID-19 university research, rising from its previous 17th ranking, according to the database of the Web of Science.

The Kingdom continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states.

Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for education, for attaching great importance to research and innovation, and for supporting scientists and researchers in Saudi universities to become globally competitive.

He said that this achievement was a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the Kingdom’s capabilities when it came to managing crises.

Al-Sheikh said that Saudi universities had published 84 percent of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 research, and that the Kingdom had published 915 scientific papers by local scientists since the outbreak of the pandemic.

He thanked Saudi universities that contributed to publishing the research papers as well as the faculty members and researchers who were serving their community.

Al-Sheikh said that this achievement reflected the Ministry of Education’s keenness to organize events that enhanced the participation of Saudi universities, research centers, researchers and academics in supporting scientific research during the pandemic.

This was in addition to coordinating the efforts of universities through specialized workshops to improve the efficiency of research and its contribution to fighting COVID-19, discussing ways to prevent and treat the disease, and investing in the research capabilities of the staff of universities and research centers by finding scientific solutions that contributed to addressing the pandemic.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
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