Saudi Arabia announces it will build its first opera house

Frederick Owens
February 23, 2018

The General Entertainment Authority chief Ahmad Bin Aqeel Al-Khatib was reported by AFP news telling reporters that the Kingdom is embarking on an ambitious plan and is willing to spend astronomical sums to bring the country's entertainment sector into the 21st Century.

Entertainment is one of the sectors Saudi Arabia is banking on to diversify its economy in the post-oil era, mainly attracting local and foreign investments. The country recently announced that cinemas would be reopening next month after a ban on them for 35 years. Announcing the move, Minister for Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said he expected the theaters to open in March.

A Saudi Arabia opera house will soon be in the works, marking the first intance of such a venue in the kingdom where concerts have been banned for two decades, along with music in restaurants and stores. It all falls under the progressive Crown Prince's Vision 2030 program.

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Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority stated, "Saudi Arabia's artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years now, and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and art talents".

The line-up for the Riyadh event has not been revealed yet and it remains unclear whether it will limited to modest designs in accordance with the strict dress code observed in Saudi Arabia.

In January, Saudi women were allowed for the first time ever to enter a football stadium to watch a game and the kingdom is also opening several sectors of the workplace to women.

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