Cinema is an established part of social culture across many areas of the world, but in Saudi Arabia where the activity is only just legalised, cinema is an exciting new development and is rapidly growing into a popular social arena.
Since the lifting of the cinema ban in 2017, the Saudi cinema construction industry has accelerated not only in terms of new venue numbers. Venues are being built to ‘wow,’ catering for every audience need and as a result, the region is delivering some of the most exciting and innovative venues the global cinema market has seen.
As specialists in the acoustic isolation of cinemas, Farrat have supplied high-performance cinema solutions to over 80% of the Saudi cinema markets’ new venues, working with the region’s leading operators including MUVI, VOX, AMC, Reel and Empire.
Cinema development has been largely targeted within the capital city of Riyadh and major population hub, Jeddah, where 28 new venues have been delivered in the last 3 years. Now however, development is starting in smaller cities such as Dammam, Taif and Tabuk as investment spreads across the region.
The first multiplex cinema to be built in Saudi Arabia was built at Riyadh Park Mall. Farrat worked with VOX to integrate our full suite of “PRO” Cinema acoustic isolation solutions which have now become standard in VOX’s multiplexes.
This was shortly followed by a host of sites by MUVI, Saudi Arabia’s home-grown operator. All of which also include Farrat Cine isolation.Following a bumper 2019, everyone took a step back to deal with the Pandemic in 2020. Things are now back at full-speed and Farrat have supplied to 12 new multiplex sites already in 2021. The largest cinema in Saudi Arabia is located at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah – a 15-screen MUVI Cinema that accommodates 1,950 viewers and incorporates Farrat CineFLOOR PRO for the acoustic floating floors, Farrat CineSTEEL PRO for the raked seating isolation and Farrat CineWALL PRO to isolate auditorium partitions.
The Saudi government is currently working to meet its target of opening over 300 cinemas with more than 2,000 screens by 2030, building an industry that would contribute more then 90 billion riyals (over £17 billion) to the economy and create 30,000 new jobs in the process.
Farrat’s Business Development Director, Ryan Arbabi who is very active in the region says, “In the UK, almost every population concentration of at least 50,000 people has at least one multiplex cinema. In Saudi Arabia, there are 46 cities with populations above 50,000 that still do not have a cinema, so there is still lots more to do. Our market-leading solutions are clearly favoured in Saudi Arabia, but that is just as much to do with Farrat’s ability to cope with the logistical gymnastics required to operate in the region as it is to provide a quality product”.