By Riad Beladi and Denis Martin
Saudi Arabia is set to become a major player in event organization as it shifts the center of events to the Middle East with the launch of the new Event Investment Fund (EIF). The EIF, capitalized at $3.7 billion, aims to develop over 35 top-tier venues across the Kingdom by 2030, contributing to a targeted GDP impact of $7.5 billion.
The Events Investment Fund, unveiled by Saudi Arabia, is designed to establish sustainable infrastructure for the culture, tourism, entertainment, and sports sectors within the Kingdom. By directly investing $3.7 billion, the EIF seeks to create a robust network of world-class venues, fostering strategic partnerships to enhance the local industry, attract foreign investment, and align with the goals of Vision 2030 for a dynamic society.
His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and Chairman of EIF, announced the fund with a focus on developing foreign investment opportunities and aiming for a GDP impact of $7.5 billion by 2045. The EIF plans to raise capital by offering lucrative opportunities to the private sector and financial institutions, nurturing collaborations between the public and private sectors and creating job opportunities for citizens.
In late November 2022, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) subsidiary SEVEN committed $13.3 billion to develop 21 integrated entertainment destinations in Saudi Arabia.
The EIF’s overarching goal is to position Saudi Arabia as a global hub in various event sectors, providing sustainable infrastructure for an ambitious national events calendar and generating financial returns to support economic diversification. The fund’s assets will encompass indoor arenas, art galleries, theatres, conference centers, horse-racing tracks, auto racing tracks, and other event facilities across the Kingdom, with the first asset expected to be delivered by 2023.
Committed to sustainability, the EIF adheres to the highest environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. Its strategy focuses on enhancing the environment, invigorating societies, and maintaining strong governance.
The EIF’s contribution to Vision 2030 includes diversifying the economy, increasing the share of non-oil GDP, and boosting the tourism sector’s contribution to annual GDP from 3% to over 10% by 2030. Furthermore, the fund aims to support the Kingdom’s transformation into a global tourist destination, attracting over 100 million visitors by 2030, aligning with the quality of life program and promoting sustainable venue development.
Aligned with the National Development Fund’s strategy, the EIF seeks to be a pivotal enabler for Vision 2030’s economic and social objectives, overcoming development challenges and catalyzing a threefold increase in the private sector’s impact on the Kingdom’s economy by 2030.