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Monday, 16 April 2018

The race to develop Saudi cinemas is on, with MAF looking to take a chunk of the market

The race to develop Saudi cinemas is on, with MAF looking to take a chunk of the market: Mall developer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) is hoping to land a license to build and operate cinemas soon, and plans 600 Vox Cinemas screens over the coming decade. “It could be a big opportunity, subject to content regulations and real estate partners who are able to provide us locations,” CEO of MAF Ventures Ahmed Ismail tells the National. If granted, MAF will be competing with US-based AMC, which plans to open the first theatre in the kingdom, which will start with a screening of Black Panther on 18 April. AMC plans to build another 40 cinemas in the country over the next five years. Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman had made Hollywood a stop on his US tour. KSA expects its nascent cinema industry will grow to over USD 1 bn by 2030.

As for Egypt, MAF sees the country as its fastest-growing market this year, where it has seen performance “improve significantly” and expects to grow ahead of the inflation rate, Ismail said.

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