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Saudi Arabia gears up to open cinemas for 1st time since 1980s

Saudi Arabia has approved cinemas licensing regulations, lifting a 35-year ban on cinemas and opening the door for companies to apply and start operating in the kingdom.

The move – which falls within the framework of Saudi Arabia's reform program – will encourage investment in the entrainment sector.

Saudi Culture and Information Minister Awwad Alawwad said "opening cinemas in the kingdom marks a watershed stage in building a cultural economy in addition to bringing to limelight the talents of Saudis."

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media, which regulates the cinema sector, expected that more than 350 cinemas with over 2,500 screens will open by 2030.

Accelerating steps towards modernizing the kingdom, Saudi Arabia announced in February that it will set up its first opera house in Jeddah within the framework of entertainment projects estimated at $ 64 billion investments.

The kingdom has planned for more than 5,000 live shows, festivals and concerts in 56 cities nationwide this year.

This will undoubtedly give momentum to tourism in the kingdom and, hence, flourish economy. 

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