Saudi Arabia just ended a long-standing ban on cinemas in the country, Reuters reported

In his statement on the matter, Minister of Culture and Information, Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said

“As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom." 

”We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018," he added

The announcement ends months of speculation on the matter and comes at a time when Saudi's entertainment industry has been making significant strides. 

The news broke on Twitter early Monday

Sparking a complete online frenzy

People just can't even

It's been a long wait...


"We've longed for this moment"

"This is a historic moment"

"Sabah el cinema"

Everyone's day has been made...


"Alf, malyoon, mabrook"

Saudi's entertainment scene is transforming under Vision 2030

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 stated that the ban on cinemas will be lifted in the country, revealing that movie theaters were expected to open soon. 

His statements, which were a signal of a new era for entertainment in the country, have finally been confirmed.  

Improvements in the entertainment sector, including the latest move, come as part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an initiative focused on diversifying the country's economy. 

Led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salam, the ambitious blueprint has already led to major transformations in the ultra-conservative kingdom.