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Thailand has high hopes for tourism with legal marijuana

Thailand legalised the growing of marijuana and its consumption in food and drinks last week, with the aim of boosting tourism and agriculture. The government plans to give away 1 million plants to encourage farmers to take up its cultivation as a cash crop It is the first Asian country to take this step, although […]

Disney announces major leadership shakeup

Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Chapek announced a major leadership shift on Thursday, promoting Dana Walden to chairman of general entertainment content as the company works to build its streaming television efforts. Walden replaces veteran Hollywood executive Peter Rice, who is leaving Disney. Both executives joined Disney in 2019 when the company acquired entertainment […]

Saudi’s leading cinema group to make films for Arabs by Arabs

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced the lifting of its 35-year ban on cinemas four years ago. The industry has since seen exponential growth and Arabic language films have been the most popular among moviegoers. This trend has now prompted Muvi Cinemas, Saudi Arabia’s homegrown cinema brand and the country’s largest theatre operator, to launch […]

Damian Lewis, Salman Rushdie and Rio Ferdinand among UK honours list

Actor Damian Lewis, author Ian Rankin and former Northern Ireland first minister Arlene Foster were among more than 1,100 people recognised by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in her annual birthday honours. The list, which is issued to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s official birthday, honours recipients for their “outstanding” contributions; most awards recognise public service or community […]

Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani

Some still can’t accept Qatar hosting World Cup, says emir

Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, has told Davos the Middle East has suffered discrimination for decades, in a speech addressing critics of the emirate hosting the World Cup. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the emir said there were still those who were unable to “accept the idea that an […]

Kobo aims to enhance the e-book sales sector in the Arab region

Kobo announces Arabic language e-reader at book fair

Rakuten Kobo, the world’s second largest e-reader brand after Amazon, is to adopt Arabic as a primary browsing language for users later this year, said CEO Michael Tamblyn at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair this week. Canada-based Rakuten Kobo, which hosts some seven million titles in 76 languages, operates its delivery of e-books to […]

Will Abu Dhabi’s new tourism vision drive international influx?

Saadiyat Island, the cultural centrepiece of Abu Dhabi’s tourism offering, has unveiled a new vision which seeks to attract 19 million visitors and contribute AED 4.2 billion ($1.1 billion) in direct revenue by 2025. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and developer Miral unveiled the new strategy to support […]

Outdoors, Nature, Wheel

Belgian music festival launches adults-only desert glamping

Belgian music festival organiser Tomorrowland has teamed up with local partners to open an adults-only desert resort, which will include luxury glamping accommodation, it was announced yesterday at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The desert resort, to be named Terra Solis, will be located in Dubailand, Al Yufra, 25 minutes’ drive from Downtown Dubai […]

Dinosaurs and superheroes return to the movies

Tom Cruise is preparing to walk the red carpet at Cannes, tickets for Marvel’s next film are selling fast, and a new dinosaur adventure looms large on the summer movie schedule. That gives movie theatre operators hope that their business is finally heading toward normal as they meet with Hollywood studios this week in Las Vegas at the […]

Kevin Hart gets $100m private equity investment

Stand-up comedian and Hollywood actor Kevin Hart has launched a new media company called HARTBEAT, with a $100 million investment from private equity firm Abry Partners. Abry, which focuses on investments in the media, communication and information services space, took a minority stake in the company at an undisclosed valuation. Hart, known for his roles in films such as “Ride […]