Saudi Focus

In Brief

May 2018

Vox Cinemas to open 600 screens

MAJID Al Futtaim has announced plans to open 600 new Vox Cinemas screens across Saudi Arabia over the next five years at an investment of SR2 billion ($533 million).

The announcement comes after the Vox Cinemas, a unit of Majid Al Futtaim and one of the Mena region’s largest theatre operators, was granted one of the first licences to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia.

Its brand-new cinema, which will be the first multiplex in Saudi Arabia, will open at Riyadh Park Mall soon, said Majid Al Futtaim.

The Vox Cinemas Riyadh Park experience will include four screens located within the largest Magic Planet Family Entertainment Centre in the region.

The SR2-billion investment is the biggest ever made in the Saudi cinema sector.


Canal border planned

Saudi Arabia plans to dig a 60-km-long maritime channel along its border with Qatar, effectively turning the small Gulf peninsula into an island, reported Saudi news website Sabq.

The project – if approved by the Saudi authorities – will be slated for completion within 12 months, stated the website. It will reportedly be carried out by a consortium of nine local investors at a total cost of SR2.8 billion ($750 million).

The canal will have “touristic” applications as well, creating fresh shoreline that could be used for hotels and beach resorts, according to Sabq.

The waterway will reportedly be 60 km long, 200 m wide and 15 to 20 m deep, allowing it to accommodate mid-sized cargo and passenger vessels.


Kingdom to ‘lead in green buildings’

Saudi Arabia is currently the third most invested country globally in green buildings and is fast set to become the world leader, according to Faisal Alfadl, the secretary-general of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF). 

“Saudi Arabia is transforming its built landscape with 1,218 projects currently under way across the country covering a total 22 million sq m gross, registered or certified with the Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system – including smart, sustainable mega cities,” said Alfadl. “The kingdom is already home to one the highest concentrations of Gold and Platinum Leed-certified buildings in the Middle East, with a cluster of more than 50 towers together at the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.

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