Saudi Arabia is to host its first ever Comic Con as the Gulf kingdom aims to expand its offering of entertainment events.
Supported by the recently-formed General Entertainment Authority, Comic Con will take place in Jeddah later this week.
The authority is a government-sanctioned body borne out of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program and will partner with both government bodies and the private sector to grow the infant entertainment sector in the country.
Comic Con is a globally recognised event and versions have been held in cities across the world, including San Diego, London, Moscow, New Dehli, Sydney and Dubai.
Organised by Time Entertainment, Saudi Comic Con, which will run from February 16-18, seeks to bring the world of films, comics and anime to residents of Saudi Arabia.
Celebrity appearances from both the local and international entertainment scene have also been confirmed, including Saudi film director Ayman Jamal, Saudi actor and producer Hisham Faqeh, British actor Julian Glover, US actor Giancarlo Esposito, British actor Charles Dance and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.
The event is expected to attract 25,000 attendees from across Saudi Arabia, a statement said.
Amr AlMadani, CEO of the General Entertainment Authority, said: “The General Entertainment Authority is proud to be a supporter of Saudi Comic Con. This is an exciting development for our country – Comic Con events have a strong family appeal and we are delighted we can now add our own city of Jeddah to the list of host venues.
“Our aim is to provide people living in Saudi Arabia with memorable moments that they can experience with friends and family. We see from the high number of Saudi-based attendees at Comic Cons abroad in recent years that there is a strong demand to host these events in our own country. Now this aspiration has become a reality and we are confident it will be a great success.”