Key deals for Saudi Entertainment, Amusement expo

Middle East and North Africa Leisure Attractions Council (MENALAC), the leisure and entertainment industry council representing the Middle East’s dynamic leisure attractions sector, has announced a three-year partnership with dmg events for Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) expo as their official Knowledge Partner.

The next edition of the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) expo will be held from June 1 to 3, 2021 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 200 exhibitors from 25 countries are expected to showcase their latest products, services and technologies ensuring all – operators and investors in the MENA region can source the best products and services for their projects and venues.

Saudi Arabia expects tourism to significantly contribute to the kingdom’s gross domestic product as the most growing non-oil economic sector. The tourism revenues increased from SR193 billion ($51 billion) in 2017 to more than SR211 billion ($56 billion) in 2018, according to Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), the country’s tourism regulator.

SCTH plans to facilitate investment SR171.05 billion that will boost the tourism industry capacity and the number of hotel rooms to 621,600 rooms and boost the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP by 3.1 per cent, and increase direct employment to 1.2 million jobs.

Tourist facilities licensed by SCTH have achieved massive growth over the past 10 years. In 2008, the number of tourist accommodation did not exceed 800 hotels and hotel apartments. In 2018 the number increased to 7,388.

Massive investment in mega tourism projects to the tune of $810 billion (Dh2.97 trillion) is expected to transform Saudi Arabia as one of the largest leisure tourism industries in the world between now and 2030, according to research conducted by MENALAC.

These include the $500-billion mega development Neom which leads the list of the mega projects followed by the $10-billion Qiddiyah Project, spread across 334 sq km in Riyadh. Once completed, Neom will deliver a futuristic mega sustainable city.

The third project is Amaala, or the Saudi Riviera, located in the northern region with an area of 3,800 sq km, while another mega venture involves developing islands in the Red Sea with a total area of 34,000 sq km.

With hundreds of entertainment centres, cinemas, and theme parks already under construction, not to mention the mega projects, the demand for suppliers and manufacturers to cater to this demand is at an all-time high.

The three-day annual event allows suppliers the rare opportunity to interact face-to-face with 5000+ key buyers who play an integral role in Saudi Arabia’s $64 billion emerging leisure market. It serves as a platform to increase brand awareness, attract new clients, generate leads and network with the industry to deliver real return on investment.

Sarkis Kahwajian, Event Director for SEA expo, says: "This partnership with MENALAC is important because it will bring major players in the leisure industry to Riyadh where we look forward to putting up a successful event and offering great knowledge sharing and networking at the conferences.

"Saudi Arabia’s leisure tourism sector, especially entertainment and amusement, is set for unprecedented expansion as the Kingdom diversifies its economy to allow greater leisure traffic. Massive mixed-use projects that are currently in the design and early construction phases, will change the economic landscape of the country, which is set to take the centre stage in the region’s tourism industry."

Tourism and entertainment are an essential part of the Saudi Vision 2030, which is aimed at diversifying the Saudi economy by reducing its dependence on oil. The Kingdom intends to develop versatile tourism destinations, which include several coastal sites, marvellous islands and distinguished heritage areas, all of which will require a high level of expertise, support and the most innovative attractions, technology and experiences to ensure the Kingdom becomes one of the top tourist and entertainment destinations in the Middle East within the next few years.