Saudi Arabia’s audiovisual media license is perfect for foreign companies that are looking to enter the broadcasting or media space in the Kingdom. It would make for a good investment, given that the industry is already worth SAR 17.4 billion with a market share of nearly 30% in the MENA region. Evidently the government is putting a core focus on the sector, as part of its economic diversification plans under the Saudi Vision 2030.
Potential firms who wish to produce, distribute, or exhibit audiovisual content in Saudi Arabia will have to work with The General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) to obtain their license.
The media and entertainment industry is now comprised of a wide range of sectors, creating a dynamic landscape where all forms of content can thrive. Press, print & digital media, publishing, advertising & public relations, television, radio, gaming, social media, are some of the biggest players in the entertainment industry.
Besides the world’s biggest oil reserves likely being in Saudi Arabia, minerals like gold, copper, zinc, phosphate, bauxite, and iron are also in high supply. All this presents an open door for mining to also push economic growth, especially in less developed areas within the Kingdom.
Located in the special economic zone of NEOM, the NEOM Media Village contains Saudi Arabia’s biggest sound stages and production facilities. It has already supported about 25 projects so far, with more to come as the village expands. A 40% cash rebate for productions was announced earlier this year, while at least six more sound stages are set to open for the rest of 2023. This growth is welcome since both regional and international demand for production facilities are rising exponentially.
Saudi Arabia is also eager to meet international media regulation standards, especially given the demand and attention it is getting from other regions. By elevating the global status of the Kingdom’s media center, it can better attract investors and companies worldwide – this creates jobs, grows the industry, helps the economy, and contributes to diversification.
A copy of the shareholding partner’s commercial registration that’s certified by the Saudi Embassy, and a copy of the national identity if one of the partners is a natural person holding the nationality a GCC country (in case his data is not registered in the ABSHAR system)2
The company’s financial statements for the last financial year, certified by the Saudi Embassy
If one partner was previously licensed by the Ministry of Investment, this must be mentioned while filling in their data during the electronic application.2
Premium residence holders are exempted from the above documents.3
There is an obligation to implement all the organised commitments of the activity, including the standards and percentages of Saudization approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.4
The applicant must enter the data of the Saudi national identity/Premium residence/residence if one of the partners holds any of them, or the commercial registration data for the participating Saudi companies during the electronic application submission.
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