Saudi Arabia is gearing up for its first-ever jazz festival, set to be held at the end of this year, Arab News reported.
Saudi Arabian industrial zone, Emaar, "plans to host a jazz festival around the end of this year," the English language daily wrote.
The group chief executive of Emaar, the Economic City (EEC), Fahd Al-Rasheed, said he aims to invite foreign musicians to perform at the festival.
In an interview he gave on Wednesday, Al-Rasheed explained that while it remains unclear whether current visa rules would allow the festival to host a large-scale foreign audience, he believes Saudi citizens will be interested in attending.
“There is a huge, untapped demand for events and cultural performances like this,” he said.
The rise of entertainment in the kingdom under Vision 2030
News of the jazz concert comes at a time when Saudi's entertainment industry has been making significant strides.
In 2016, the kingdom established the General Authority for Entertainment, headed by Amr al-Madani, to enhance the cultural and entertainment sector within the country.
In early January, Al Madani revealed that the ban on cinemas may soon be lifted, with theaters expected to open soon.
In addition to improvements in film, the country is making leaps when it comes to music and online entertainment.
In March, the kingdom also organized its first YouTube FanFest, an event that brought together YouTubers from around the world.
Improvements in the entertainment sector come as part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an initiative focused on diversifying the country's economy.
Under the Vision and guidance of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salam, the ultra-conservative kingdom is now shifting towards 'moderate' Islam.