AlUla targeting 2m visitors annually by 2035, top official says

AlUla targeting 2m visitors annually by 2035, top official says
AlUla targeting 2m visitors annually by 2035, top official says

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Cinema ticket prices in Saudi Arabia are set to drop significantly after the Film Commission’s recent decision to cut cinema operating license fees.

The move, approved by the commission’s board of directors chaired by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, aims to foster growth, boost audience engagement and establish Saudi Arabia as a regional filmmaking hub.

The commission has simplified the licensing process and reduced fees for various operations, including permanent, temporary and special-needs cinemas, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Applicants can now easily obtain licenses to operate a production studio, create visual and audio content, distribute or import films, and obtain no-objection licenses for cinematography through the Cultural Licenses Platform, Abde’a.

License fees for operating permanent or temporary cinemas in Saudi Arabia have been significantly reduced in various categories of cities:

In category “A” cities, the cost of a permanent cinema license has been reduced to SR25,000 ($6,666), down from SR210,000. In category “B” cities, the fee is now SR15,000, reduced from SR126,000, while in category “C” cities, the cost is SR5,000, down from SR84,000.

For temporary cinema licenses, the fees have also decreased. In category “A” cities, the cost is now SR15,000, down from SR105,000. In category “B” cities, the fee is SR10,000, reduced from SR63,000, and in category “C” cities, it is now SR5,000, down from SR42,000.

The commission also reduced the fee for a license to operate a cinema, whether for showing one or more films on a permanent or temporary basis.

The reduced fee for a permanent cinema in “A” category cities is SR3,000 per branch, down from SR21,000 per screen. In “B” category cities, the new fee is SR2,000, reduced from SR12,600, while in “C” category cities, the cost is SR1,000, down from SR8,400.

For temporary cinemas, the reduced fee in “A” category cities is SR500 per branch, reduced from SR5,000 per screen. In “B” category cities, the fee is now SR500, down from SR5,000, and in “C” category cities, the current fee is SR500, also down from SR5,000.

The commission is encouraging cinema operators to offer discounts and promotions to attract more moviegoers. This initiative aims to increase the number of cinema halls, make Saudi films more accessible, and encourage more people to visit cinemas across the Kingdom.

These measures are part of the Film Commission’s efforts to achieve the strategic goals of the film industry by fostering growth in the number of box offices across the Kingdom and boosting the economic contributions of companies in the sector.

Additionally, the commission aims to support cultural and creative diversity in cinema, create a competitive environment that encourages investment in the film industry, and enhance the overall movie-going experience. This approach is designed to strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a leading regional center for the film industry.

Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Qahtani said: “At the commission, we are working to stimulate the film industry by encouraging private-sector companies operating cinemas in the Kingdom to provide discounts and promotional offers to cinema viewership, with the aim of enhancing the film culture in the Kingdom.

“We also work intensively to enhance the presence of Saudi films by stimulating the showing of Saudi films in various cinemas.”

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