Bahrain’s Cineco pens deal to open $6.5m Cineplex

Cineco will open a six-screen complex at Wadi Al Sail mall in Al Riffa, Bahrain



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Bahrain Cinema Company – also known as Cineco – has signed a $6.5m deal with Wadi Al Sail mall to open a six-screen Cineplex in Al Riffa, Bahrain.

Cineco will also be opening a restaurant in the mall as part of the deal, the company said.

Construction work on the project has already started and once all civil works are completed, Cineco will begin on the inner fittings.

Both the Cineplex and the restaurant are scheduled for completion by mid-March 2016.

Cineco manages a large number of cinemas and restaurants within Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The company owns and operates 44 cinema screens in Bahrain and 27 screens in Qatar.

Driven by a rapidly growing population and a rise in disposable income, cinemas in the Middle East are seeing strong growth.

Such progress has led to continuous investment by operators looking to upgrade their offering and increase footfalls.

Earlier this year, Dubai-based VOX Cinemas – managed by retailer Majid Al Futtaim – announced that it will invest Dhs 1bn in the business over the next five years.

The funds will facilitate the ongoing refurbishment of existing cinemas, while also aiding the company to open new locations in existing and new Middle East and North Africa markets, the group said.

Another major cinema operator, Novo Cinemas, opened last year in locations such as the World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi and The Pearl in Qatar.

The company is also planning to launch in new locations including Dubai’s Dragon Mart, Qatar’s North Gate Mall and Bahrain’s Seef Muharraq Mall. Novo Cinemas’ expansion plans will see the overall number of screens it operates reach 200 by early-2016, the cinema operator said.

According to a PwC study, total worldwide entertainment and media revenues are predicted to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1 per cent over the coming five years – from $1.74 trillion in 2014 to $2.23 trillion in 2019.

The Middle East and Africa region is expected to see growth of 10 per cent in entertainment revenues within this period, the report added.