Qatar has tapped Cityneon, a global entertainment company based in Singapore, to build a new 15,000sqm facility in the country, which will include an international experience and entertainment technology centre, an innovation lab focused on R&D in animatronics and robotics, and a large-scale production workshop.
Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) and Cityneon recently entered a strategic partnership to develop the new facility at the Ras Bufontas Free Zone that targets the growing entertainment technology and experience markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
"We are delighted to welcome Cityneon, a leading entertainment technology company that designs and manufactures equipment and robotics for the sector,” said Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA.
Lim added that the company’s decision to open its first such facility in the Middle East at Qatar Free Zones “is testament to the strength of our offering and the exciting trajectory of the entertainment technology industry and the tourism sector in Qatar and across the region, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030”.
“Qatar Free Zones provide an ideal environment for international and local companies with the skills and innovation to help build a better future,” Lim said.
The new venture is expected to bring varied benefits to Qatar. Cityneon will help develop the regional entertainment technology and Intellectual Property (IP) industry to generate new jobs in robotics and animatronics, costume design and fabrication, and sculpting and moulding, among others. It will expand the significant skilled labour pool in Qatar and support the ongoing digital transformation of the country.
Qatar Free Zones' technology and research ecosystem will enable Cityneon to enhance its IP business operations for the region and benefit from a growing community of like-minded organisations, dedicated research and innovation facilities, and partnership opportunities.
Cityneon partners with foreign governments, world-renowned museums, heritage organisations and major movie studios to hold exclusive IP exhibitions, creating iconic experiences for their visitors from all over the world. To date, the group has toured their IP experiences in excess of 50 cities worldwide.
With this latest partnership, the company will produce large-scale experiences in Qatar as they have done around the world, such as their Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition in Chengdu, China, and their Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition in Las Vegas and many more.
“We see immense potential for our IP business in the EMEA region and the strategic location of our new facility in Qatar will be pivotal in addressing the markets that we plan to serve, as well as for us to reach out to potential partners and collaborators for the group,” said Ron Tan, executive chairman and group CEO, Cityneon.
Singapore's ambassador to Qatar Jai S. Sohan, said of the QFZA and Cityneon partnership: "It is my delight to see Cityneon set up base in Qatar Free Zones, a leading hub for innovation in the region, as the latest of many Singaporean companies with operations in Qatar. The new facility will not only boost tourism across the region but also attract a new talent pool to the developing entertainment technology industry."