The Booming Creative Industry in KSA
The creative industry is a major contributor to the cultural scene in KSA, providing richness and diversity. Saudi Arabia’s government recognizes the importance of this emerging industry and has made it a key pillar of its Vision 2030 plan. The aim is to increase the contribution of the sector GDP to 3%, generating $20 billion in revenue and creating over 100,000 jobs by the year 2030. In order to achieve this, the government is investing in infrastructure and initiatives that will support the growth of the industry. This includes establishing new creative hubs, providing training and development programs, and creating new public-private partnerships.
Why Art & Culture Are Essential To KSA
The Saudi Ministry of Culture has stated that its vision entails “a flourishing of arts and culture across Saudi Arabia that enriches lives, celebrates national identity and builds understanding between people”. This new government body was created by royal decree in 2018, with the goal of protecting and promoting the nation’s cultural sector at home and abroad.
Under their guardianship, the arts and culture scene has witnessed a revival, with Saudi Arabian artists receiving newfound recognition on the world stage. Progress has been rapid — in the same year that the Ministry of Culture was established, Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever Arab Fashion Week. Last year, the Kingdom also unveiled its new national pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, enabling Saudi filmmakers to showcase their talent and meet with international industry leaders.
The Saudi Arabian national identity is reflected in the art, music, and fashion of the Kingdom. And the creative industry plays a vital role in preserving and promoting these cultural treasures. By focusing on the creative industry, KSA is also taking steps to diversify its economy. The government recognises that in order to thrive and reach its Vision 2030 goals, it must expand and modernise. Many sectors of the economy are competitive or well-established, so to diversify KSA is turning its attention to the creative industry. This is an emerging sector with great potential for growth, and by investing in it now, KSA can position itself as a leader in the global creative space.
Additionally, a robust and active creative sector helps to promote the country’s image abroad and attract tourists, while also providing opportunities for Saudis to express their creativity and identity. The sector has enormous potential to create much-needed jobs for the younger generation and generate sustainable revenue for the economy.
How Marketing Drives Brand Eminence
The government is also placing an emphasis on marketing, as it recognises that to capture the attention of future buyers, KSA must have a strong brand. The creative industry is key to achieving this, as it can create compelling and innovative marketing campaigns that will promote KSA as a destination for business and leisure.
Design is also playing a role in marketing KSA to the world. Saudis are using design to communicate the Kingdom’s values and aspirations and create an image of the future that is both aspirational and realistic. Later in 2022, the Architecture and Design Commission will launch The Saudi Design Festival in Riyadh — a 21-day event that aims to prepare the next generation of Saudi designers to enter the global market. Through design, KSA can showcase its unique place in the world and capture the attention of potential investors and visitors.
In order to achieve its ambitious goals, the creative industry must continue to grow and evolve. This industry is essential to KSA and its vision. By investing in it now, the Kingdom will reap the benefits for years to come. Saudi Arabia is steeped in a rich heritage and culture, and preserving its traditions is essential. Coupled with its natural beauty and talented people, KSA is poised for success in the creative sector. Factor in strategic investment and support from the government and there’s no telling how far the creative sector can go.