The Saudi Arabia General Entertainment Authority (GEA), represented by chairman Turki Al-Sheikh, on Friday signed a number of contracts with Egyptian artists and content providers for dozens of performances and productions in the Kingdom during the upcoming months.
On the film front, Al-Sheikh agreed with many production companies to screen and produce dozens of movies that combine Saudi Arabian and Egyptian actors, including Adel Emam.
Musically, megastars including Hani Shaker, Amr Diab and Mohamed Hamaki will be performing frequently in Saudi Arabia, in addition to using the copyright of the content of a number of iconic artists including Um Kulthoum, Abdel-Halim Hafez and Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, by signing with their label representative Mohsen Gaber.
Concert contractor Walid Mansour has signed a contract to provide many “shaabi” music concerts at festivals in Saudi Arabia that will feature Hakim, Hamada Helal, Oka and Ortiga, Diab, Abdel-Baset Hamouda, Ahmed Shiba, Adawea and Saad El-Soghair.
Theatrically, Al-Sheikh agreed with Cairo Show to stage their plays in Saudi Arabia; they include shows featuring Mohamed Henedi, Yehia El-Fakharany and Akram Hosni, Mohamed Saad, Ashaf Abdel-Baki, and Sherihan.
Saudi Arabia announced earlier this year that they are investing billions of dollars into the new entertainment sector and are eyeing dozens of Western acts, including NBA basketball and the Spanish-style “running of the bulls” event.
The kingdom is trying to shake off its ultra-conservative image in a drive to keep tourist dollars at home, lure foreign visitors, create jobs for young Saudis, and improve the quality of life in a country where cinemas and public concerts were banned until recently.
Al-Sheikh said the kingdom aims to become among the top ten global entertainment destinations and in the top four in Asia, but has provided no timeline and few concrete figures for his targets.