The cinema industry in the MENA region has grown against the backdrop of a steep decline in the global cinema industry due to COVID-19
Cinema box office revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to grow by 4 percent per annum to US$ 1 billion (Dh3.7 billion) by 2024, compared to a 2.4 percent decline worldwide.
Research data analyzed by finance website Finaria shows that globally the combined revenues in the box office industry plummeted by 71.5 percent from $42.5 billion in 2019 to approximately $31 billion last year.
This reflects a shift in the global cinema industry landscape where growth has been driven by the countries outside of the MENA region.
However, expansion throughout the Arab world and the Middle East specifically in Saudi Arabia will unlock a lucrative economic opportunity.
Saudi Arabia has become a major contributor to the growth of the global cinema industry. By 2024, Saudi Arabia’s market will rank among the top 10-15 in the world for box office revenues, according to Omdia.
Omdia predicts a six percent rise in household spending on entertainment in 2030, and box office revenues in KSA are expected to reach US$180 million by 2024.
By 2024, Omdia estimates there will be 1,400 screens in Saudi Arabia, up from a count of fewer than 300 screens in 2020 with more than 600 screens expected in 2021.
Other projections predict that there will be around 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in the country, and the industry worth around US$1 billion by 2030.
META Cinema Forum – 2021 Dates
The new dates for the fourth edition of the META Cinema Forum are October 26–28, 2021. The Great Mind Events Management, organizers of the META Cinema Forum, said that the Forum will happen at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai.
This announcement follows shortly after the Dubai government lifts the ban of restrictions on public entertainment events. The country will gradually open its borders to select countries that have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now in its fourth year, the META Cinema Forum provides an important platform and inspires dialogue amongst leading players. This is to continuously innovate and enhance the cinema experience and industry.
This year’s event will host a conference, awards, seminars, workshops, masterclasses, special screenings, premieres, product presentations, slates, exhibitions, and live demonstrations.
The conference will tackle industry issues and regional industry-specific discussions on the film industry across Africa, Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.
This year’s META Cinema Forum will cover a greater geographical stretch including the African continent, backed by the Pan African Film Consortium.
Mykel Parish Ajaere, President, Pan-African Film Consortium said, “there must be a way to balance commercial returns and I believe that the Meta Cinema Forum will provide sustainable solutions to the Middle East and African cinema, at this difficult time.”
Ajaere believes this is the time for Africa to strengthen its film economy and harness the enormous benefits the Forum will provide.
The impending Forum will bring together the leading African film industry movers, Turkey, the Indian subcontinent, and the Levant.
VOX Cinemas continues to be the strategic partner for the event this year.
Ignace Lahoud, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, said
“VOX Cinemas is proud to be the strategic partner of the META Cinema Forum once again, given our shared commitment to the cinematic experience.”
The Managing Partner of the Great Mind Events Management, Leila Masinaei, confirms that the upcoming edition of the Forum will be much bigger than the previous editions.
With the META region becoming an increasingly important market to the global box office, events such as the META Cinema Forum are essential to the success of the industry.
META Cinema Forum takes place amid the World Expo 2020 – one of the largest global events happening for the first time in the Middle East.