PESHAWAR: Saudi Arabia has kicked off an initiative to invest 130 billion riyals (S$46.26 billion) in culture and leisure by 2020.

The kingdom has launched the campaign to become a culture and entertainment hub as part of sweeping modernisation plans after repealing a decades-long ban on cinemas last year.

The plan was finalised at a meeting of American film star Katie Holmes and British actor-cum-director Idris Elba with Saudi officials.

Leader of the cultural policy, Ahmad al-Mazid said the purpose of the plan is to create “a true cultural industry, with theatres, cinemas and training centres”.

Under the plan, 16 entertainment complexes, an aquatic centre and three other huge leisure hubs will be set up in the kingdom.

The project is designed to encourage young citizens to spend more of their leisure time in the kingdom and provide them healthy entertainment. The Saudi government also plant to create 300,000 new jobs with this initiative.