Saudi Arabia: A spotlight on the meetings industry

Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia has made notable investments in its MICE infrastructure and redevelopment, in an effort to further stimulate the number of meetings and business events.

The country now comprises more than 600 first-class hotels and convention and event centres.

IBTM China 2019

The Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau is currently exhibiting at IMEX Frankfurt 2017 for the first time, in order to shed light on the country’s impressive MICE portfolio, with many event organising companies promoting their meetings and events facilities and services.

Investment in the meetings industry in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to amount to $1.6 billion by 2020 and forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a blueprint consisting of long-term goals.

Business events fall under the National Transformation Plan, the focal point of Vision 2030, which consists of 755 initiatives totaling to $100 billion between 2016 and 2020.

Executive director, Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau, Tariq A. Al Essa stated: “As a first step, we identified the major obstacles to the industry’s growth, including regulatory framework, accessibility, infrastructure capacity, human resources, and the non-availability of information about meetings and events that are being organised.”

He continued: “Collaborating with other stakeholders is of crucial importance to us, not just for the industry but for the growth of the whole country, in relation to human resources. We want Saudi people to play a key role in the industry.

“Saudi Arabia is the heart of the Arabic and Islamic worlds, it is a pioneering investment powerhouse and the hub connecting three continents. We are creating an environment for successful meetings and exhibitions that will attract business in events and investments,” he concluded.