The lucrative future of cinemas

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Majid Al Futtaim’s VOX Cinemas has been working relentlessly to take the cinema experience in the region to the next level, by making it more engaging and exciting. VOX Cinemas’ – rebranded from CineStar around eight years ago in 2011 – growth trajectory has been impressive. In 1999, the first VOX Cinemas (then CineStar) opened in City Centre Ajman, followed by City Centre Deira in 2000, Marina Mall in 2001, Mall of the Emirates in 2005 and City Centre Mirdif in 2010. In the first 11 years, VOX Cinemas were rolled out at five locations. In total, over the two decades, 355 screens opened across eight countries.

“In 2019, we forecast to open 100 screens of VOX Cinemas in Saudi Arabia alone,” reveals Cameron Mitchell, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Leisure & Entertainment, during an exclusive conversation with RetailME.

VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates

VOX Cinemas, Riyadh Park

When cinemas opened in Saudi Arabia towards April 2018, VOX Cinemas was the second operator to get the licence. “We opened the first VOX Cinemas at Riyadh Park in May amidst much fanfare,” Mitchell recollects. “By the end of 2019, we hope to touch 100 screens in Saudi Arabia. We have already signed up 220 screens – of the 600 that we expect to open within the next five years, across the top 10 cities in KSA. And we expect to sign another 150 in the next six months. We are also co-locating our family entertainment centre, Magic Planet – including Yalla! Bowling – alongside VOX Cinemas, wherever possible.”

“Hereon we will grow more aggressively, in new markets like KSA as well as in existing regions where we have a presence. Among the planned future openings for 2019, outside of KSA, are in City Centre Almaza in Cairo; City Centre Sohar in Oman; Nakheel Mall on the Palm in Dubai; and Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain, to name a few. With our current growth trajectory, we aim to touch the 1,200 screens-mark within the next five years across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait,” he shares.

Read the full article in the January edition of RetailME