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Al-Futtaim, a diversified and privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, and PVR Limited, the largest film exhibition company in India, have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities for jointly developing a cinema business in the MENA region.
The joint venture will introduce a collection of unique experiential cinema formats to the region, including PVR’s Director’s Cut, a format that blends the best in high-end hospitality and entertainment.
“We see great potential in the cinema business in the region, and particularly in Saudi Arabia, following the government’s decision to reopen the cinema industry,” said Marwan Shehadeh, group director, corporate development at Al-Futtaim.
“PVR is the perfect partner for Al-Futtaim, given its 20 years’ proven track record of operating and creating experiential cinema formats, catering to customers looking for best-in-class experiences.
To begin with, we have already identified locations in Al-Futtaim real estate developments such as the Dubai Festival City and Festival Plaza in Dubai and are in discussion with landlords to secure other locations in Dubai and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Commenting on the partnership, Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director, PVR Limited said: “We see a great opportunity in taking the PVR brand to the MENA region, particularly expansion in the UAE and entry into the Saudi Arabian market which has recently decided to open up the cinema industry.
We are delighted to partner with Al-Futtaim, which is one of the most diversified and progressive privately held businesses in the region.”
Established in the 1930s as a trading business in Dubai, Al-Futtaim today is one of the most progressive regional business houses. Al-Futtaim employs in excess of 42,000 people and operates in 29 countries through more than 200 companies.
The group has significantly expanded its business operations through a strategic acquisition plan and has entered a number of new territories, increasing its footprint beyond the GCC and Greater Middle East regions to encompass North Africa, Asia and East Africa.
Since its inception in 1997 in India, PVR has redefined the way entertainment is consumed in the country. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising 630 screens at 135 properties in 52 cities, serving 76 million patrons annually.
While the total screen tally of the company stands at 630, PVR offers an array of formats with premium screen category, which stands at 36 screens of Gold Class, seven of IMAX, eight of 4DX, four of PXL and four of Playhouse across the country.

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