SEVEN unveils more entertainment plans for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company (SEVEN) has revealed more information about its game-changing entertainment plans for Saudi Arabia.

Bill Ernest, CEO of SEVEN, unveiled the plans for Saudi’s entertainment and leisure sector, discussing the family-friendly entertainment destinations, 50 new cinemas, and $64 billion government investment.

Ernest, a former Disney executive, delivered the keynote speech at the Middle East and North Africa Leisure & Attractions Council (MENALAC) Leisure, Entertainment and Attractions Conference 2019 in Dubai.

The CEO sketched out SEVEN’s plans for a massive family-friendly entertainment destination in Riyadh, the first of many as part of Saudi’s 2030 Vision.

Each entertainment destination will feature a cinema, augmented reality (AR) activities, green open areas for sports and water activities, entertainment and live shows and dining venues.

Creating jobs

He also spoke about the importance of employment generation, explaining: “Our offerings will create exciting new roles for ambitious young Saudi nationals. We will need to provide training in new skill sets.

“While employing locals, we also want to create friendly, awe-inspiring environments where Saudi nationals will want to spend quality time with their family and friends.”

Ernest said that SEVEN’s owners, the Private Investment Fund (PIF), expect the company’s projects to serve more than 50 million visitors, provide more than 22,000 direct jobs and contribute to the GDP by approximately SAR 8 billion by 2030.

“Through our role as investor, developer and operator of various entertainment offerings Kingdom-wide, SEVEN aims to be the leader in Saudi Arabia’s entertainment ecosystem,” he stated.

“We aim to facilitate the presence of both international and local brands, and in doing so, become the national entertainment champion.

“We are here to enhance the quality of life of Saudi nationals and residents and meet their recreational expectations and needs. Things are happening fast, and SEVEN is proudly a driving force of Saudi Arabia’s newest sector.”

More projects in Riyadh

Saudi previously launched four projects worth $23 billion in Riyadh. Construction will begin this year on King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art.

The kingdom also announced plans to build 20 entertainment centres, including one 100,000 square-metre entertainment complex in Riyadh earlier this year, and revealed plans for a second mega entertainment hub in Riyadh.

Giga-projects in Saudi

There are 4 “giga-projects” currently under construction in Saudi: Qiddiya, Al-Ula, Neom and the Red Sea Project. In September, the Public Investment Fund announced a new uber-luxury resort called Amaala.

International tourism in Saudi Arabia is forecast to grow by 5.8% per year from 2018 to 2022, according to a report from BMI Research.