VOX Cinemas awarded one of the first licenses to operate movie theatres in Saudi Arabia

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VOX Cinemas has been awarded one of the first licenses to operate cinemas in Saudi Arabia. Its new cinema, the first multiplex in Saudi Arabia, will open at Riyadh Park Mall in the coming days.

The VOX Cinemas Riyadh Park experience will include four screens located within the largest Magic Planet Family Entertainment Centre in the region. Content including animation, family-friendly films and educational movies will be available through a portfolio of viewing experiences including the first IMAX screen to exhibit movies and VOX KIDS, a concept designed especially for young movie fans.

VOX Cinemas parent company Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, is an active supporter of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Majid Al Futtaim has already announced project investments valued at SAR 14 billion across their mall asset, fashion, leisure and retail offerings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This commitment is expected to create more than 114,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.

Commenting on the announcement, Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani said: "We thank the Saudi Government, the Ministry of Culture and Information and the General Commission for Audio-visual Media for the confidence they have placed in us to contribute to a new chapter in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. VOX Cinemas will join a growing stable of Majid Al Futtaim’s leading retail, leisure and entertainment brands operating across the Kingdom.”

VOX Cinemas is investing an additional SAR 2 billion to open 600 screens in the next five years in Saudi Arabia. These new cinema developments will create some 3,000 direct jobs. Through its partnership with 20th Century Fox, the distribution arm of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas will also be exclusively distributing Fox content to all cinemas across Saudi Arabia. In 2018, the company is planning to release such films as The Darkest Minds, The Predator and the James Cameron-produced Alita: Battle Angel.

Bejjani added, “Majid Al Futtaim is proud to be one of the largest private-sector investors in the Kingdom and Vision 2030, with an investment commitment now increasing to SAR 16 billion.”

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures CEO Ahmed Galal Ismail said, “We are excited by the opportunity to be a catalyst for the development of creative talent and content in the Kingdom. VOX Cinemas is honored to deliver our world-class portfolio of viewing experiences and premium concepts unrivaled anywhere else in Saudi Arabia. We are committed to providing our Saudi audience with countless great moments while making a direct contribution to the diversification of the Saudi economy.”

Further cinemas currently under design include Majid Al Futtaim’s Mall of Saudi and City Centre Ishbiliyah, with both locations opening in Riyadh in the coming years, with additional announcements on new locations expected in the coming weeks.

As recipient of the “Global Achievement in Exhibition” Award at CinemaCon 2017 and with 32 cinema complexes in seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, VOX Cinemas is already well-known to Saudi movie fans. In addition to the IMAX and KIDS concepts at the Riyadh Park location, VOX Cinemas complexes across the region also include THEATRE by Rhodes and GOLD by Rhodes. Both concepts combine fine dining with a VIP cinema experience. VOX Cinemas’ upcoming locations in Saudi are expected to offer these concepts together with the open-air viewing experience OUTDOOR and mega-screen MAX.

Majid Al Futtaim has had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia for more than 14 years through Carrefour, operating 16 hypermarkets and supermarkets with more than 7,000 employees. The company also operates Enova in Saudi Arabia, a facility management company, through a joint-venture operation with Veolia and owns a fashion retail business representing international brands such as AllSaints, Abercrombie & Fitch and Sacoor.