Dubai—Oct 16, 2018
Middle East Set to Add 500 Cinema Screens in 3-5 Years as Mena Cinema Forum Gears Up to Host 450 Delegates
Number of cinema screens in the Middle East set to jump 38.4 percent to 1,800 in the next 3-5 years, up from 1,300 currently
Amer Bin Ahmed, Managing Director, Knauf, Middle East and India
The number of cinema screens is set to jump 38.4 percent to 1,800 in the
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the next 3-5 years, up from 1,300
at present, according to a research by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC), one of the world’s leading professional services firms and
the Knowledge Partner of the MENA Cinema
- Middle East
region will see the addition of 500 new cinema screens in the next 5 years
Middle East region currently hosts 1,300 cinema screens
- The first-ever
MENA Cinema Forum to be held at Grand Hyatt hotel in Dubai – to be participated
by 45 speakers and experts, 450 delegates and 90 sponsors
around 1,300 cinema screens in the MENA region and the number is growing,” said
Dr. Martin Berlin, Partner and Global Deals Real Estate Leader at PWC. “We
expect 500 new cinema screens to be set up in the MENA region and the majority
will be in Saudi Arabia.
The number of
cinema screens has crossed 150,000 globally, including about 50,000 in China
and more than 45,000 in the United States – the world’s two biggest cinema
markets. China is expected to have over 60,000 cinema screens by 2020, making
it the world's largest film market, according to the State Administration of
Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
number of cinema screens in the MENA region remains way too low, the growth
potential, however, remains very high.
“The biggest opportunities will come from the opening of the
Saudi market, followed by the opportunity from sophisticated pricing mechanisms
where cinema operators offer price differentiations based on particular timings
and days – to help increase box office revenues. Additionally, premium
screening is another way of optimising revenues,” Dr. Martin Berlin said.
There are just 23
screens per million Chinese, compared to 125 per million in the U.S., according
to IHS Markit, a London-based market researcher.
research, to be released at the inaugural two-day MENA Cinema
Forum – the first ever business conference of its kind for the regional
market will be held at the Grand Hyatt from October 28-29 – will offer a
detailed research on the current situation and future growth potential of the
cinema industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The expansion of the
region’s cinema screens and the industry’s evolution provides massive
opportunities – many of which will be addressed at a MENA Cinema Forum.
More than 45 speakers
will discuss cinema-related issues – challenges and opportunities – in front of
an audience of 450 industry professionals, businessmen, over 90 sponsors and
delegates from 45 countries across the world.
Masinaei, Managing Director of GM Events, organiser of the MENA
Cinema Forum, said, “The 38.4 percent additional cinema screens will help the
entertainment market to grow faster as additional capacities will be high
enough to meet the growing demand that is expected to come from Saudi Arabian
liberalisation and reform initiatives in Saudi Arabia have opened up a lot of
opportunities for industry that will see the biggest boom in the entertainment
and cinema industry. Saudi Arabia will soon emerge as the fastest growing
market for entertainment.”
More than US$3.54 billion investment in cinema screens across the Gulf
is expected to help the region’s cinema industry expand manifold following
Saudi Arabia’s historic decision to open up the sector 35 years after cinemas
were banned in the Kingdom.
P.V. Sunil, Managing Director of
Carnival Cinemas said, “Carnival is an emerging group and
after attaining a significant screen-count in India, we have started our
overseas business in Singapore (in 2016) and by the year end we will have over
100 screens in MENA region.”
He said, the aim is to provide entertainment for all
globally. In India, Carnival Cinemas has a strong presence in Tier II and III
cities along with metro and Tier I cities.
“We are planning to replicate the same model here as well by
taking the world class cinema experience to all possible locations including
smaller cities and even labor camps. Simultaneously there will be an organic
development plan also and we have already selected few locations for that,”
“Our goal is to provide 360 degree entertainment solutions
in the sphere of production, distribution and exhibition. Our content strategy
will involve promoting Indian content as we have developed great partnerships
with leading studios and production houses accompanied by Hollywood and regional
GCC content. We are strengthening our businesses by delivering to audiences the
industry's best cinematic experience.”
Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, CEO of Novo Cinemas, said, “We currently
have 118 screens across UAE and Bahrain in 11 locations with a total of 18208
seats. We will open a significant number in the coming three years across UAE,
Bahrain and of course KSA.
“We are already committed to a number of exciting projects and looking
at more growth opportunities in the coming 3-5 years as well.
“The Middle East cinema market is doing very well, resilient because of
the price point, but still very affordable family entertainment even during
tough times. However, it all comes down to content, if we have great content
then customers will come to watch the movies.
“This is a great opportunity for all exhibitors, although to be
sustainable we believe the current ticket pricing will need to come down,
cinema needs to open for the majority not just a privileged few and therefore
pricing needs to be affordable.”
Knauf Middle East, a major player in the supply of cinema
systems, is optimistic about the growing prospects of its business in the GCC.
“We have been very active doing major projects in KSA for
many years and are looking forward to bringing our expertise to KSA,” Amer Bin Ahmed, Managing Director, Knauf,
Middle East and India, said.
“We have experience in installing over 200 cinema projects
across the Middle East including UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Knauf
has a specialized technical team for the cinema segment to design and specify
tailor made solutions. Our products and systems are fully tested and certified
to the highest standards ASTM, DIN, ENBS
“Cinema projects are technically challenging therefore we
ensure cinema projects are technically challenging therefore we offer full
support from design stage, right through to completion. Our dedicated
team works with the necessary contractors and the consultants to ensure the
acoustic performances are achieved.
“The correct detailing and installation of our systems is
also paramount to ensure there will be no delays and loss to the developer,” he
Knauf has a manufacturing facility in the UAE to support and
meet the demands of the GCC market. “Our strategically placed manufacturing plant and research
and development in UAE makes us a logical choice for our KSA customers,” he
Eranna Yekbote, Chief Architect of
Era Architects, who designed
more than 1,200 cinema screens in the last 19 years, said, “Out of these, about
400 screens are in the MENA region and we have about 250 screens from 30
projects in pipeline on our drawing boards in office.
“MENA region has always been fast growing cinema industry
with bigger scale of shopping malls with large cinema formats coming in and now
with KSA opening its door for cinemas. It gives good business opportunity for
all the people in this industry.”
Some of the key topics that will be tackled at the MENA
Cinema Forum include the transition through digital disruption and
the economic impact of the growing cinema industry as well as the effect of the Saudi
Cinema market across the region.
MENA Cinema Forum, the only dedicated industry conference on
cinema, will screen premiers for VIPs and delegates at exclusive screenings
during the two-day conference that will also feature some of the biggest names
in the global film industry.
The eventful conference will be full of activities including
workshops, break-out meetings, site visits and major announcements.
MENA Cinema Forum Links and Information:
Amer Bin Ahmed, Managing Director, Knauf, Middle East and India
Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner – Great Minds Event Management