GEA chairman Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al Sheikh GEA chairman Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al Sheikh

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has revealed plans for the country to become an entertainment destination with a number of projects and events lined up for 2019, including live performances, international exhibitions, Ramadan competitions, e-gaming events, and even the Madame Tussauds wax museum.

This was revealed at a press conference by the chairman of the Board at the General Entertainment Authority, Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al Sheikh.

The GEA also revealed its new brand identity, and launched its new event platform 'Enjoy Saudi', which showcases all event information across the Kingdom.

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The organisation signed MoUs with international and local private entertainment companies to begin activities in the Kingdom. These companies include Balich from Italy, Avex from Japan, Broadway Entertainment, the Middle Eastern 1001 Inventions, and many others.

Al Sheikh said that the entertainment sector would contribute to the economy and create jobs, and added: "Entertainment makes up a big portion of Vision 2030, it’s not just concerts, but it includes various sectors."

He also outlined a number of entertainment initiatives being prepared for the next phase of GEA’s new strategy. These include hosting international exhibitions, constructing theatres, and organising large-scale live performances in cooperation with the General Sports Authority.

GEA will work to attract global exhibitions and interactive presentations and shows, including the Madame Tussauds wax museum which will visit Riyadh as well as the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. Also on the cards is a Saudi version of Dutch reality television show 'The Voice' as well as professional bull riding, and negotiations to win one of the National Basketball Association (NBA) professional basketball matches.

Also announced at the event were a number of recently signed agreements involving a number of governmental and private bodies. Four agreements were signed with each of the following: the Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organisation; the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs; the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises; and Sela Sport.