In the next decade, $64 billion (£46 billion) would be invested by Saudi Arabia for the development of its entertainment industry, says the kingdom.
Just in the current year, pans for about 5000 events are underway that include one by the likes of Maroon 5 and Cirque du Soleil, according to the head of the General Entertainment Authority.
The country has also initiated the construction of its first ever opera house in Riyadh.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had two years ago unveiled the Vision 2030, which is a document for the implementation of a social and economic reform in the kingdom and this investment is part of that vision.
The central aim of the vision document is to reduce the dependency of the country on oil and diversification of the economy through measures that include enhancing spending by the household on culture and entertainment.
A long time ban on commercial cinemas was lifted by the government in December.
General Entertainment Authority chief Ahmed bin Aqeel al-Khatib said: “In the past, investors would go outside the kingdom to produce their work, and then showcase it back in Saudi Arabia.
“Today, change will happen and everything related to entertainment will be done here.”
“God willing, you will see a real change by 2020.”
The authority has already finalized plans for a large entertainment city located close to Riyadh – one which would be about the size of Vegas. This is part of the country’s’ plan to further its tourism sector,
In recent years, there has been a number of firsts for the country which included lifting the ban on women to go to stadiums to watch football matches last month while also allowing women to drive by themselves on its streets in June last year.
The Prince Mohammed wants Saudi Arabia would once again be “a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions, traditions and people”, which was announced by him last year.
He had said that that time that the young population of the county, where the percentage of people under the age of 30 years is 70 per cent wanted a “life in which our religion translates to tolerance, to our traditions of kindness”.
The kingdom as well its royal family and the religious establishment strictly follow Islamic codes of behaviour and strict dress codes that are strictly enforced as an austere form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism is followed by the country.
(Adapted from BBC.com)