Mukta A2 Cinemas is not the first Indian company to venture into Saudi Arabia.
Mukta Arts Ltd., the production company led by renowned Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai, has inked an agreement with Al-Othaim Investment Company of Saudi Arabia. The collaboration aims to establish and manage cinemas across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, operating through Mukta A2 Multiplex W.L.L., its subsidiary based in Bahrain.
The partnership underscores the strategic alignment between Al-Othaim’s real estate presence and Mukta A2 Cinemas’ expertise spanning the entire movie exhibition business, as stated in an official release by Mukta.
Rahul Puri, Managing Director of Mukta Arts Ltd, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Al-Othaim group to help build out the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s fledgling exhibition market. We are excited to add our experience and ethos in providing world-class entertainment to the region to follow up the stellar success we have found in Bahrain with the properties we manage there. We are deeply committed to this project and are humbled by the faith shown in us. We look forward to the partnership and the value it brings.”
Puri emphasised that Mukta’s expansion strategy in Saudi Arabia will focus on tier-two and three cities, aligning with their dynamic growth. The company, while not engaging in direct investment, positions itself through contractual agreements focused on providing management and operations services, adapting to the evolving landscape of emerging markets.
This strategic move strengthens Mukta Arts Ltd.’s cinema exhibition business expansion plans. The company currently oversees more than 100 screens through Mukta A2 Cinemas Ltd., its subsidiary, Mukta A2 Multiplex WLL in Bahrain, and various joint ventures.
The global cinema industry has seen other players explore the Middle East market in recent years. In 2018, PVR Cinemas entered a deal with UAE-based Al-Futtaim for expansion, while Carnival Cinemas expressed interest in the Saudi Arabian market, although plans did not materialise.
Akshay Bajaj, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Mukta A2 Cinemas, stated: “We look forward to the synergies of our partnership with the Al-Othaim group and to provide movie-goers with unrivalled experiences as Saudi Arabia increases its ever-growing cultural and entertainment offerings.”