In Saudi Arabia the Government’s Council of Ministers has approved the appointment of the board of the new General Entertainment Authority.
This new Saudi authority is tasked with promoting, developing, funding and regulating the infrastructure of the theme park and entertainment industry in the country.
The General Entertainment Authority
The General Entertainment Authority is a government-sanctioned body borne out of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program. The authority will collaborate with both the private sector and government. The aim is to help grow the attractions and entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed Aqeel AlKhateeb is chairman of the General Entertainment Authority. He said, “This is a significant milestone in the development of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority. We are particularly delighted to welcome international experts. They will further help us in our aim of both developing and investing into the burgeoning Saudi entertainment industry.
“We have made progress in recent months and there will be much more delivery over the next year.”
He said, “In line with the goals set out by Vision 2030, we will strive to provide the Saudi people with quality entertainment choices, building and supporting an entertainment sector for everyone in Saudi Arabia.
“Our board is now formally in place. The next step is to move ahead with strategies that help nurture entertainment in all its forms, whilst also seeking to safeguard our precious cultural heritage.”
The founder and former CEO of Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Amr AlMadani is the authority’s new CEO.
He will be responsible establishing the General Entertainment Authority and for day-to-day operations. The board will meet on a quarterlybasis.
Six Flags Parks for Saudi
The announcement is not long after after American theme park giant Six Flags revealed its plans to create three theme parks in the country. The first of these is expected to open by 2021.
TThe Owner of these parks is likely to be the Saudi government. Each theme park will cost up to $500 million to build. The first Six Flags park will probably be in the capital, Riyadh. The second and third could be in Jeddah and on the western Red Sea coast.
Developing a theme park in the Kingdom brings with it its own challenges of course. There is a strict social code. Cinemas are banned and in public spaces people are segregated by gender.
Image credit: Saudi Arabia