Official: Saudi entertainment events have attracted 120 million visitors since 2019

Cairo: As many as 120 million people have attended entertainment events in Saudi Arabia since 2019, a Saudi official has said, as the kingdom seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

The head of the Saudi State’s General Authority for Entertainment, Turki Al Al Sheikh, added that this figure had been achieved despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic.

“The number of visitors to public and private sector events licensed by the General Entertainment Authority from 2019 to present reached 120 million. Do you realize the number? This was achieved despite the difficult times of COVID,” Al Al Sheikh said on Twitter.

Established in 2016, the General Entertainment Authority has worked with private sector partners to launch a series of events in different regions of Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh and Jeddah, to attract local and foreign audiences.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to boost its entertainment industry by hosting a series of star-studded concerts, movies, theatrical performances and competitions.

Last October, Al Al Sheikh revealed that a major entertainment zone would be launched in Riyadh as part of the kingdom’s vigorous efforts under an ambitious economic overhaul plan dubbed Saudi Vision 2030.

Named Boulevard World, the facility features the world’s largest man-made lake with submarines and a village for superhero fans.

“Imagine visiting the United States, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, China, Morocco, Japan, Mexico and Italy at the same time,” he told Saudi television Al Ekhbariya at the time.

In April 2018, Saudi Arabia reopened cinemas for the first time in nearly four decades.

The kingdom aims to receive 25 million foreign tourists this year.

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