(Source KFCRIS report) – Culture, Sports and Entertainment is the second of the five thematics of key decisions and initiatives that have facilitated the delivery of Vision 2030 objectives.
Saudi Arabia is a youthful country. More than 65 percent of its population are under the age of 30, and they are keen for Saudi Arabia to become a more open and liberal society. Increasing Saudis’ access to entertainment has been a central focus of Vision 2030, and Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA), created in May 2016, has been important in pushing this forward. Saudi Arabia’s leadership is also working to encourage tourism to the Kingdom
and to host international sporting events.
Above the main Key Facts of the Saudi ”Culture, Sports and Entertainment”
- A significant focus of Vision 2030 is opening up the Kingdom to foreign visitors, businesses and investors. Tourism is a key pillar of this transformation, but Saudi Arabia has never previously offered tourist visas.
- In December 2018, visas for sporting events and concerts were offered by the Saudi government. In September 2019, the country introduced tourist visas for the first time.
- In May, 2020, “Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture, announced the establishing of Thunaiyat Ad-Diriyah Foundation. The foundation is concerned with contemporary arts, and was designed to be responsible for organizing an annual Biennale in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Saudi Arabia issued more than 400,000 tourist visas between September 2019 and February 2020; this figure does not include the millions of religious pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia every year for Hajj and Umrah.
- Music concerts have increased in Saudi over the last few years, with Mohammed Abdu, Mariah Carey, DJ Tiesto, BTS, and Andrea Bocelli performing, among others. Mohammed Abdu’s performance was the first concert in Riyadh in 30 years.
- In 2018, cinemas returned to the Kingdom for the first time since 1979. Saudi Arabia plans to build 600 cinema screens across Saudi Arabia by 2023.
- Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene is flourishing. Institutions such as the Athr Gallery have been vital in this. In January 2018, Jeddah hosted an art festival that brought together many young Saudi artists.
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