Saudi Arabia continues to plan its economy around decarbonization, more out of international obligation than on its own initiative, and the last step revolves around cinema. Prince Mohammed bin Salman is looking for new markets to diversify a primarily oil-based economy, which clashes head-on with the zero-emission plans of the major blocs. This is why the country has just announced an investment of 64,000 million dollars to turn the territory into the main cinematographic center of the Middle East .
This project is framed within the “Vision 2030” initiative and Saudi Arabia’s promise to completely decarbonize the country by 2060, thanks to pressure from the US and Europe. However, the country’s administration has already been in charge of showing its disagreement with these obligations, as well as finding the small loophole to continue feeding on its enormous oil reserves. And it is that the United Nations regulations only account for the emissions that occur within the Saudi borders, so the administration can perfectly continue to export crude abroad .
On the other hand, it should be noted that this news occurs in an open-ended context, since only three years ago that Saudi Arabia began to allow commercial cinema in the country. “By 2030 there will be more than 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens across the kingdom,” Mohammed bin Salman said in 2017.
This is another example of the new investment guidelines from the Saudi administration, which is also focusing on conquering technology . In fact, the jewel in the crown of the prince’s project is ‘Neom’, a 170-kilometer city built from scratch to install all the new companies that the country intends to create to feed this sector, as well as all the foreign tech they want to locate. your company in the territory.
Million dollar investment to get Hollywood’s attention
For a long time, Morocco and Jordan, as well as Almería, have been in charge of providing desert areas to Hollywood productions. However, Saudi Arabia wants to receive all that film investment by becoming the high point of audiovisual locations .
“We started from the beginning, no one had been here before and we have great ambitions to turn Al-Ula – the first site in the Saudi kingdom to be declared a World Heritage Site – into an international film destination,” said British actor Stephen Strachan now converted into commissioner of cinema for Saudi Arabia, as reported by Bloomberg .
In fact, since this opening process began, productions have not stopped arriving. The action movie ‘Desert Warrior’ starring Anthony Mackie is being filmed entirely in the Middle Eastern country, as well as Gerard Butler’s latest thriller ‘Kandahar’.
How could it be otherwise, Netflix has already seen a business opportunity in the territory. The streaming giant has signed a contract for eight feature films with the Saudi studio Telfaz11, as its intention is to create content for the Arab regions, where it is not yet exploiting its business.