Members of circus troupe "Cirque Eloize" perform their show organized by the Saudi entertainment authority in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 18, 2018.REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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Known for decades as the home of the religious police and stringent public decency laws, Saudi Arabia now hopes to transform itself into an entertainment hub.With more than 5,000 live shows, festivals and concerts planned in 56 cities nationwide this year, the kingdom will invest 240 billion riyals ($64 billion) on entertainment infrastructure over the next decade to put itself on the global tourism map, the chairman of its General Entertainment Authority said. Senior GEA official Faisal Bafrat said the past year had already seen exceptional development in the entertainment sector with more than 2,000 events involving 100,000 volunteers and 150 small and medium businesses organized in 2017 .The kingdom withdrew around $250 billion from its financial reserves in the past four years.
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