Saudi Arabia’s cinema market is expected to exceed $1.2 billion by the end of 2030, a recent research report said.

According to, the kingdom’s largest city and capital Riyadh accounts for a significant part of the cinema market but other regions like Jeddah are set to witness continuous growth.

The report noted that the primary source of income for cinemas is tickets/box office. Other sources include advertisements and sale of food and beverages at the multiplex.

The standard format of cinema holds the highest market share in Saudi, but 3D/4D, IMAX, and VIP/Premium ‘will be the choice of Saudis in the upcoming years’, according to the report.

In January last year, Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF established Development Investment Entertainment Company (DIEC) with an initial funding of $2.7 billion to set up entertainment centres that include cinemas over the next several years. (Read more here)

DIEC is projected to directly contribute SAR 1 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Saudi Arabia and create 1,000 direct jobs by 2020, according to a study by Belgium’s state-owned investment promotion agency Flanders Investment and Trade.

Saudi Arabia’s biggest cinema operator and subsidiary of Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim group VOX Cinemas opened the kingdom’s first multiplex in April 2018 after authorities lifted a 35-year ban on cinema. The group’s CEO told Zawya in May that the company is opening a new cinema almost every month in the kingdom. Read more here:

“Saudi authorities are working towards social and economic development of people by utilizing the untapped potential of the non-oil sector. Lifting the 35-year ban on Cinema industry was one of the steps taken to achieve ‘Vision 2030’ by government.” The reprot noted.

According to Quality of Life Program 2020, part of Saudi economic overhaul blueprint ‘Vision 2030’, more than 45 cinemas will be developed in the kingdom by 2020.

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai, editing by Anoop Menon)

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