With over 20 percent of 15-24-year-old Saudi citizens owning a musical instrument, the government has launched a national music strategy to make the Kingdom a global hub for musical culture.
Built on the five pillars of Education, Production, Performance, Delivery and Distribution, and Advocacy, Licensing and Intellectual Property Rights, the Saudi Music Commission has set itself a goal to make music income exceed 1 percent of GDP, excluding oil revenues.
The country now has over 130 commercial recording and rehearsal studios and the Commission believes it could encourage the creation of over 65,000 jobs by the end of the decade.
Key to the plan is music education, which will become part of the curriculum at every kindergarten and K-12 school in the country. At the higher level, music institutes and Music Hubs in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar are at various stages of development. The Commission also plans to license 50 private music education centres and the world’s first e-learning virtual music academy.
The Saudi Music Commission’s Chief Executive, Mohammed Al Mulhem, said, ‘The launch of the Music Strategy represents the beginning of an exciting new era for the Saudi music sector, and we are delighted to be able to share this with the world. The Music Commission has identified the roadmap and initiatives required to build a powerhouse music industry across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And we are implementing the plan through an exciting program of initiatives already underway, creating the pathways for talent to be identified and nurtured, strongly supported by a robust music ecosystem which will enable the sector to thrive.’
The Music Commission is a department of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and was established to provide the next generation of Saudi musicians with the required skills to preserve the musical component of Saudi Arabia’s cultural identity.