SAUDI Arabia announced plans on Wednesday to build an entertainment complex in the capital Riyadh, the latest in a series of state-backed efforts to encourage public leisure activities after decades of tight social restrictions.
Vast wealth and the promise of dramatic change make for cautious optimism concerning Saudi Arabia, the chief executive…150 Views | the publication reaches you by | Saudi Arabia Today
The project will feature sports activities, live performances, restaurants and cinemas, it said. It did not specify the value of the investment.
The company aims to set up about 20 entertainment centres around the country over the next several years, as Saudi Arabia tries to use the leisure sector to create jobs, liberalise social norms and diversify the economy beyond oil exports.
Seven has already opened the kingdom’s first cinema in nearly four decades, in partnership with US-based AMC Group, and hopes to attract private companies to invest alongside it at all of its projects.
Those plans could be complicated by fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last October, which has led some foreign media and technology companies to distance themselves from the kingdom.
Since the murder, British billionaire Richard Branson has suspended his directorship in two PIF-backed tourism projects along the Red Sea coast. No investors have yet been announced for the ventures.
Hollywood talent agency Endeavor is close to terminating an agreed US$400 million investment from PIF over reputational concerns, while Legendary Entertainment said in November it had “no interest” in conducting a proposed transaction with the fund.
Do you have information you want to reach our readers?
A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one…