IMG get in on the Saudi culture splashout

IMG get in on the Saudi culture splashout


norman lebrecht

April 10, 2018

IMG Artists has signed a deal with Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) to establish festivals and concerts as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, GEA Chairman said in LA: ‘These industry-leading partners genuinely understand the intriguing new investment opportunities that Saudi Arabia offers in global entertainment. Their significant investment signals the appeal of Saudi Arabia’s easy enter-to-market policy and confidence in the Saudi 2030 Vision.’

We’ll assume they have done due diligence.


  • Anon says:

    Sounds like the Saudi crown prince is attempting a cultural westernization a la Atatürk and Shah of Iran. But Saudi Wahhabism is quite a few centuries more backward than the other two were.

    • anon says:

      The muslim populations in Paris, London, Brussels are slowly islamising those European capitals, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is trying to be more like Paris, London and Berlin.

      Parisian muslims are fighting to wearing their veils even as Saudi women are fighting to take theirs off.

      Go figure.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Interesting issue. I don’t think Muslims are the only example of immigrants becoming more traditionalist. I am sure there must be comparable examples with Jewish communities, among others. On the other hand, less traditionalist immigrants become assimilated in their new environment, therefore less noticeable.

        Any social scientists to weigh in?

    • Mahan Esfahani says:

      This is the only time I will ever comment on a thread here. There is no comparison. The Shah of Iran and his father were doing their best to heal Iran from 1500 years of Islamic occupation. That is all. I’m not returning to this to respond.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Can you recommend any book or web source related to your comment on the Shah?

      • Anon says:

        Understood and agreed. My point was, that the blowback that expects the Saudi prince, if he goes forward with this initiative, might be even bigger than what happened in Iran (counterrevolution by the backward Islamists) and Turkey (rollback of Atatürk’s secularism under Erdogan). Because Saudi Wahhabism is so backward and non-enlightened, particularly compared to an ancient sophisticated culture like the Persian one, that all these investments with their oil money literally fall on desert sand, not fertile soil, culturally. They simply do not have the cultured population for that.
        Of course for some time they can built a kind of Las Vegas of Arabia, kind of similar to what the Emirates have done in the last few decades.

        What is actually happening, is that Saudi Arabia is currently encouraged and pampered by the US as their next useful idiot, to do the next dirty war that is in the planning with the Saudis in the role a US proxy, the war against Iran.

  • Caravaggio says:

    What due diligence? It’s all about gold digging. Plain and simple.

  • YoYo Mama says:

    How nice for IMG to get a monopoly and shut out everyone else.