The new Saudi opera house is due for completion in 2022
25 April 2018| Last updated on 26 April 2018
In recent months Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman have made a number of announcements of changes to come to the Kingdom in the near future to help modernise Saudi Arabia and create new income streams for the country.
The latest of these announcements is one that we’ve heard numerous rumours about which have finally been confirmed.
Saudi Arabia will be building their first opera house in Jeddah, set to be completed in 2022.
Plans to build the opera house was first announced in February 2018 at an event in Riyadh. Now, plans for the Kingdom's first opera house have been confirmed thanks to a partnership with France.
Ahmad Al Khatib, the Chief of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) said: “GEA is proud to be one of the drivers of transformation in the Kingdom, through its clear purpose to build a world-class entertainment industry that will put the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the global tourism and entertainment map.”
Prince Mohammad bin Salman visited France for three days in the beginning of April. One day after his arrival, an announcement came that France and Saudi Arabia will be working together to build Saudi’s first national opera.
French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen told Arab News: “Today an agreement was signed with the Paris Opera to help Saudi Arabia set up a national orchestra and an opera.”
Image Credits: Arab News
A turning point for the country's cultural scene
Music in stores and restaurants, as well as concerts, have been banned for nearly two decades in the Kingdom. This is busy changing in an attempt to not only encourage locals to invest and spend more in the local economy, but also to improve residents’ quality of life.
Al-Khatib also told Arab News that: “The GEA is taking accelerated steps toward enhancing lifestyle in all regions of Saudi Arabia by providing rich and diverse entertainment options and experiences for people to enjoy. GEA contributes directly to the objectives of the Quality of Life program, which aims to achieve a thriving economy and a vibrant society in which citizens and residents enjoy a better quality of life.”
The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) was established in accordance with Vision 2030 to help turn the Kingdom around and make it an appealing destination for not only locals, but also foreigners to visit and invest in. With the fast pace with which the GEA is working, that might happen much sooner than you would think!
According to the GEA, they have more than 5,000 live shows, festivals and concerts planned in 56 cities across the different regions!
The line-up for this year’s social calendar will have something for everyone with family shows, music shows, stand-up comedy, live performances from some of the biggest global names and much, much more!
All we can say is watch this space because Saudi Arabia is busy making huge reforms and will end up surprising everyone still.