Published: 2019-01-24 11:00
Last Updated: 2019-01-24 12:08
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Entertainment in Saudi Arabia Turki Al-Sheikh, said that he expects billions of dollars to be pumped into the state-supported entertainment sector, considering hosting dozens of Western events, including an American Basketball League game.
Saudi Arabia is campaigning to persuade its citizens to spend their money at home and attract foreign visitors, create jobs for youth, and improve quality of life.
The Saudi government has already attracted Arab and Western concerts, including The Black Eyed Peas last month.
Al-Sheikh announced his hopes for the Saudi entertainment sector strategy, and reviewed dozens of events the Kingdom hopes to host, including motor racing, magic shows and theater performances.
"I wish national companies, banks, businessmen, artists and all sectors to work together," he said, in front of a crowd of princes, Arab ministers and celebrities and some Muslim clerics.
He added: "This is a huge door, a door for jobs worth tens of billions, even hundreds of billions."
Al-Sheikh said that the Authority is working to strengthen the Kingdom's competitive position in the global entertainment sector, among the top four entertainment destinations in Asia, and the world's top ten, but he did not specify a time frame.
Officials had previously said the reforms were aimed at capturing up to a quarter of what the Saudis spend on entertainment abroad, which is currently $ 20 billion a year.
Last year, the Authority said infrastructure investments over the next decade would reach 240 billion riyals ($ 64 billion), contributing about 18 billion riyals to the annual gross on domestic product and providing 224,000 new jobs by 2030.