Saudi Arabia plans to build a new media city on the outskirts of its capital. But will visa requirements and cultural intransigence thwart a bold idea?
December 17, 2009 1:02 by Sarah Abdullah
Under the supervision of the Riyadh Development Authority and Riyadh Municipality, the media city project was given approval and announced back in February following a meeting attended by Prince Salman bin Abdel Aziz, in addition to the president of the Riyadh Development Authority and the governor of Riyadh.
The officials discussed business strategy and their ambition to make the MPC the first press production facility in Saudi Arabia. Since that time, TRENDS has learned that Omrania & Associates has been chosen to design the city, but there is no further information on which investors are involved in funding the project.
Presently included in the design are a library, studio, and special residential areas for employees working there. The RDA has also confirmed that the city is being built with the aim of producing television programs, claiming that no films would be produced within the city.
The Minister of Information, Iyad al-Madani, confirmed that all productions coming from within the new media city will be non-cinema productions. During the same speech, interested companies were invited to invest and talk about their aspirations for the MPC.
Associated plans involve building a secondary city next to the media city to serve as a community for employees. The adjunct community city will be built in the Khuzami district of Riyadh.
The new media city is expected to consist of various studios of different sizes, including those with the latest photographic technology. It will also provide technical support for media productions including news, talk shows and religious programs.