Dubai's Emaar to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia

UAE firm has just obtained licence to bring Reel Cinemas brand to the kingdom

  
A Saudi man uses his phone at Riyadh Park mall during the opening of a cinema in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 30, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A Saudi man uses his phone at Riyadh Park mall during the opening of a cinema in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 30, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Emaar Entertainment UAE, a subsidiary of Dubai-listed developer Emaar Properties, is set to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia, it has been confirmed. 

A statement issued on Monday said that the kingdom’s regulatory body, the General Authority for Audio-visual Media, has just issued a licence to Emaar Entertainment to bring Reel Cinemas into Saudi Arabia. 

The first Reel Cinemas venue will open in Riyadh in December, featuring 14 movie screens. 

It will be the first time the UAE firm enters the Saudi retail entertainment market since the kingdom lifted its 35-year ban on cinemas in 2018. 

Emaar said it has partnered with Saudi Arabia-based GOSI Investment Ventures to enter the market, which is home to more than 34 million consumers as of 2020. 

“KSA can look forward to enjoying… movie-going experience when Reel Cinemas arrives,” Emaar Entertainment said. 

“The first Reel Cinemas location in Riyadh will boast the best of what Reel Cinemas is deploying in its rapid expansion across the kingdom.” 

Reel Cinemas has venues across Dubai, including Emaar’s flagship shopping development Dubai Mall, as well as Jebel Ali Recreation Club, The Springs Souk, Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai Marina Mall, Rove Downtown and The Pointe. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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