Saudi Arabia’s NEOM gears up for Bollywood partnerships

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM gears up for Bollywood partnerships

Kingdom’s futuristic city initiative plans world-class media hub to attract Indian film-makers

Bollywood has historically held close ties with the Arabian Gulf, having shot several of its films in the region. With this in mind, NEOM, the new smart city being developed in the northwest of Saudi Arabia as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy, is creating the region’s first truly integrated media hub.

The initiative provides an exciting opportunity for Indian producers, with diverse locations that have never been used before as well as production services support.

To kick-start the development of the media ecosystem, NEOM is offering attractive production incentive rebate schemes to attract Indian film-makers. Spearheading the project is Wayne Borg. With more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles in the media and creative industries, he has been tasked with creating NEOM’s Media Hub. Prior to joining NEOM, he was president and general manager at Los Angeles-based Fox Studios.


Speaking about his plans for NEOM’s media hub, Borg said: “There is a tremendous opportunity to build the region’s first fully integrated and legacy-free media hub powered by the most technologically advanced place in the world. Pockets of the media industry exist in the region, but efforts remain largely fragmented. We aim to change that and create the world-class media hub the region deserves and that allows it to compete with and be part of the global industry.”

The first of NEOM’s initial four sound stages are due to be operational by the end of 2021, with further facilities to be completed in 2022. TV and film production is already well under way and the biggest-budget Hollywood film to be shot in the region is currently in pre-production.

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