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Al-Futtaim, PVR sign MoU to explore opportunities in MENA region

At present, PVR operates over 600 screens in 52 cities in India

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MUMBAI: Multiplex operator PVR signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai's Al-Futtaim to explore opportunities to jointly develop cinema business in the Middle East and North Africa (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 Al-Futtaim Group director corporate development Marwan Shehadeh.

“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 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,” he added.

PVR in a regulatory filing said both parties will work together over the next few months to undertake a feasibility study and convert the MoU into a formal joint venture arrangement.

In December last year, PVR had said it was scouting overseas destinations for expansion and planned to open its first project in Sri Lanka in next two years.

Commenting on the partnership, PVR Ltd chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli said “We see a great opportunity in taking the PVR brand to the MENA region, particularly expansion in 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.”

At present, PVR operates over 600 screens in 52 cities in India.

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