SELA, the Saudi owned event production company renowned for its creation of spectacular event experiences, intends to join the joint venture in the near future. The acquisition was formally announced at a signing ceremony at Informa’s headquarters in London.
In attendance at the event were Lord Stephen Carter CBE, the Group CEO of Informa PLC; Ahmed AlJasser, acting CEO of EIF; Faisal Al Khamisi, SAFCSP Chairman; Muteb Al Qani CEO SAFCSP; Alrayan Gadouri Chief of Staff at Sela, and other representatives of the JV group. EIF’s investment forms part of its plan to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the culture, tourism, entertainment and sports sectors across the Kingdom. By leveraging the expertise of all its investors, Tahaluf will launch new B2B and B2C events, focused on strategically important sectors such as technology, real estate, pharmaceuticals, food, health and beauty, tourism and hospitality.
Following the highly successful launches of award-winning tech events LEAP and Black Hat Middle East, and the artificial intelligence event DeepFest in the Kingdom, Tahaluf plans to launch further diverse original concept events, including the Saudi Maritime Congress, Global Health Exhibition and Inflavour, for the food industry. Tahaluf will also bring iconic Informa brands to Saudi Arabia including CityScape, CPHI and Cosmoprof, serving the global real estate, pharmaceutical and beauty industries respectively. To serve the longer-term strategy, partners of the joint venture plan to establish an events training academy to bring globally recognized certification and training for young Saudi nationals.
These ventures support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objective of diversifying its economy, attracting foreign investment and creating high value employment opportunities for Saudi citizens, as well as contributing to EIF’s mission. Lord Stephen Carter, Group CEO of Informa PLC, said: “Tahaluf is a dynamic and ambitious initiative, and we are proud that Informa’s expertise is part of delivering world-class, sustainable events in Saudi Arabia.
The incredible success of events such as LEAP has demonstrated the power of the Tahaluf collaboration, and this increased investment will accelerate its impact across sectors.” Faisal AlKhamisi, SAFCSP Chairman, said: “By aligning our upcoming portfolio of events with Saudi Vision 2030’s objectives and partnering with the leading key players in the industry, the results can be efficiently transformative.
This goes far beyond the shows and events to transferring knowledge, building talents, attracting business tourism, and showcasing Saudi Arabia as the leading destination for events across the entire region. there is no better place to create this success than my homeland, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that amazing country that was able in a very short period of time, in light of an ambitious vision led by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to turn into a center of attraction and widespread global interest.
It is the land of opportunities, the meeting place of the world’s continents, and the destination of dreamers of a better future.” Ahmed Al Jasser, EIF Acting CEO said: “We at EIF are delighted to be part of this joint venture with such an internationally renowned industry leader and look forward to working closely with Tahaluf as we develop the nascent MICE ecosystem in the Kingdom together and move forward in our mission to develop a world-class entertainment and events infrastructure.
This will position the Kingdom as a global hub for international events in the region, in line with Vision 2030 plans, and to support the kingdom’s delivery of an ambitious national events calendar and to create sustainable financial returns to support the country’s economic diversification efforts.” Dr. Rakan AlHarthy, Managing Director and CEO of Sela, said: "We’re passionate about delivering stand-out events and this is an exciting opportunity to expand our presence *in this growing sector*. We look forward to working with our partners in delivering another key milestone in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 blueprint." Mike Champion, CEO of Tahaluf, added: “Tahaluf will scale up at a rate rarely seen in the events industry, as it continues to employ some of the region’s best events talent to deliver record-breaking, award-winning events like Black Hat MEA and LEAP.
With EIF, SAFCSP and Informa as shareholders, the company is strategically positioned to deliver outstanding quality events, that help to transform and develop the Kingdom’s MICE sector.” The Events Investment Fund falls under the umbrella of the National Development Fund which aims to be a pivotal enabler for the economic and social objectives of Vision 2030.