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Saudi Entertainment Authority Unveils Plan to Recover $6 Billion Spent Abroad Annually

Saudi Entertainment Authority Unveils Plan to Recover $6 Billion Spent Abroad Annually

Friday, 20 September, 2019 - 11:00
Visitors tour at majestic rock-hewn tombs of Madain Saleh near the city al-Ula, Saudi Arabia January 25, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Amr Banaja, chief executive of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, has unveiled a series of entertainment programs to be witnessed in the Kingdom in the coming period, within a plan to recover $6 billion which is spent annually abroad for tourism and entertainment.

Addressing the second day of the Euromoney Conference, Banaja said: “The GEA seeks to strengthen its mechanisms and build an integrated sector through three axes: creating a legislative environment around quality, standards, and inspections; strengthening funding, especially for the SMEs who play a pivotal role in the Saudi entertainment sector; and building capacity and developing expertise.”

He continued: “The GEA aims to create a well-regulated and thriving entertainment sector. Our goal is to improve the quality of citizens’ lives relating to Vision 2030… The GEA is already working with private sector partners to organize events across the Kingdom and attract tourists.”

He revealed that this year over 5,000 events would take place across the Kingdom.

“We expect to see a huge increase in foreign tourists with the introduction of the new tourist visas... We expect the growing tourism industry both internally and from abroad to contribute to the creation of jobs and boost the overall economy,” Banaja underlined.

The annual Euromoney Saudi Conference concluded on Thursday. More than 2000 delegates registered for the two-day event which was organized in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance.

“Annually, $6 billion are spent outside the Kingdom on entertainment. We must direct this spending to the inside, thus generating jobs after providing a sufficient diversity of entertainment, in light of the Kingdom’s openness to the outside world,” Banaja remarked.

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