Saudi’s largest listed developer Dar Al Arkan has signed a deal with UAE malls and retail group Majid Al Futtaim’s Vox Cinemas to open a multiplex at Riyadh’s Al Qasr Mall.
The deal comes after the kingdom lifted its cinema ban earlier this year and awarded MAF a licence as the kingdom’s second operator after US firm AMC.
Since, then two other operators have also been awarded licences.
The Al Qasr cinema will have 15 screens and is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.
It will include Vox’s family-friendly Kids and larger screen Max experiences, according to the announcement.
The project will form part of a renovation of existing mall space that will also see the addition of new dining outlets and a bowling centre.
“The new cinema complex will meet the expectations of our discerning guests and will feature the next generation technology fit for the current sophisticated and tech-savvy Saudi movie-buffs,” said Dar Al Arkan Development CEO Kelvin Kwok Han Sim.
“This is a significant contribution and a novel addition to the evolving Saudi-cinema-culture. We are delighted to be partnering with Majid Al Futtaim on this exciting project in Riyadh.”
Vox has said it plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia over the next five years. It opened Saudi Arabia’s first IMAX in late April.
More broadly, authorities plan to set up around 350 cinemas with over 2,500 screens by 2030, which they hope will attract nearly $1bn in annual ticket sales.