Informa, SAFCSP form JV to build global events portfolio in Saudi Arabia Informa, SAFCSP form JV to build global events portfolio in Saudi Arabia
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Informa, SAFCSP form JV to build global events portfolio in Saudi Arabia

Informa, SAFCSP form JV to build global events portfolio in Saudi Arabia

By providing market access, stimulating inbound investment and generating international trade, events can contribute to delivering significant economic stimulus to a country

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Saudi Arabia is committed to developing its public and private sector, offering additional employment opportunities to its residents, and reducing its historic dependence on oil and other natural resources.

More so, the country recognises the role of international events in helping build strategically significant industries to achieve its objectives.

By providing market access, stimulating inbound investment and generating international trade, major events can contribute to delivering significant economic stimulus to a country.

A growing events industry in the kingdom will also provide new employment opportunities for young, talented and digitally adept citizens, not just in the events sector, but across the broader creative and digital economy, that covers a variety of fields, such as branding and communications and digital marketing.

Informa, the world’s leading live and on-demand business and consumer events company, has been a key player in advancing the events industry internationally, pioneering enhanced digital experiences and on-demand events, forging near-term partnerships with brands and developing a range of data-driven services. It is also at the forefront of industry-wide sustainability initiatives.

The event organiser recently partnered with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP). It represents a deeper commitment and closer relationship between Informa and the government of Saudi Arabia, with the aim of building the kingdom’s presence across a number of key industries, following the successful launch of events like LEAP and Black Hat.

New initiative
Recently, both organisations agreed to form a new joint venture company, Tahaluf. This initiative seeks to help the kingdom realise the goal of diversifying its economy in line with the implementation of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and building a portfolio of thriving, sustainable events in the kingdom within five years.

It also aims to support the promotion and accelerated development of strategically significant industries in Saudi and provide employment opportunities for the nation’s young population.

The new company will replace Informa’s existing operations in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Informa will also allow Tahaluf to acquire some of its brands that will be used in the kingdom and the rest of the region as strategic industries for the company. Tahaluf will also be able to take advantage of the support and operations provided by Informa teams in the region and beyond in order to meet its goals.

The way forward
By launching the Tahaluf joint venture with Informa, Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones extends its mission to stimulate growth in the kingdom’s key economic sectors to now encompass the events industry.

Tahaluf will leverage Informa’s global expertise to create an events sector in the kingdom which will further advance economic diversification, provide access to new markets for international businesses, attract foreign investment and support modernisation of business activity in the kingdom.

The Tahaluf Academy will provide an annual cohort of young Saudi professionals the opportunity to gain hands-on training and international events experience through a series of rotations across the global Informa business, and further benefit from a industry-recognised event professional accreditation programme.

During the next five years, Tahaluf aims to employ around 200 people, and by the end of the decade, the company will run events that will attract about 500,000 visitors annually. 

Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones said: “Saudi Arabia has hosted an expanding portfolio of global events in recent years, and now, through Tahaluf, Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones is investing to further elevate the Saudi events industry and related creative and digital sectors.”

“Tahaluf will be a significant contribution to Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones’ mission of supporting skills development and creating career opportunities for Saudi youth in dynamic, professional sectors and will also contribute to the overall diversification and modernisation of key industries in Saudi Arabia.”

“Informa has played a leading role in the events industry internationally, including pioneering digital, on-demand and data-driven experiences and leading sustainability initiatives across the sector. This expertise has helped to launch successful events together in the past and will be invaluable in delivering the ambitious plans announced today.”

“Tahaluf – the Arabic word for ‘Alliance’ – reflects the strength of the partnership between Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones and Informa, and our plans to work closely together in this next stage of developing world-class events for Saudi Arabia,” Al-Khamisi added.

“Like all decisions at Informa, the decision to partner with various ministries within Saudi Arabia and expand our footprint took into account our business purpose and the many commitments we have made to our customers and communities. We aim to have a wider positive impact wherever we do business, and our events and local operations will support the creation of new jobs, knowledge sharing and professional development in the region,” said Michael Champion, regional executive VP at Informa Plc.

“Our office, team, operations and events will all follow Informa’s code, policies and commitments in the same way that all our locations do, including in relation to our environmental goals and upholding safe, supportive, inclusive and respectful workplaces. Overall, we believe that the partnership and expansion will contribute positively to our customer offering, have a positive impact on region and help deliver the benefits of growth for all of our stakeholders,” Champion stated.

In 2023-24, Tahaluf’s top launches include:

Tahaluf’s new launches will include the artificial intelligence event DeepFest (www.deepfest.com) 6-9 February 2023; food and hospitality show, Feast (www.Onegiantfeast.com) 24 – 26 October 2023; beauty industry festival Cosmoprof Middle East; international real estate show Cityscape Global (www.cityscapeglobal.com) 10-13 September 2023 and the Middle East edition of the leading pharma brand, CPHI Middle East (www.cphi.com) 15-17 January 2024.

The agreement to form Tahaluf is expected to complete on January 1, 2023, from which point it will commence trading.

Read: Cover Story: How Informa Markets is putting the Middle East region on the global map

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