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Saudi Arabia Set for World’s Biggest Event Expansion as Tahaluf Reveals Plans for 20 New Exhibitions Within 18 Months

  • Saudisation employment boost as 200-plus new staff set to join Informa joint venture within a year as Tahaluf prepares to realise the biggest launch of new IPs of any event organiser in any global market.
  • With flagship Informa events such as CosmoProf and CPHI, as well as new products, the Saudi Government-backed venture aims to see Tahaluf become the Middle East's top-ranked organiser by square metre.
  • Portfolio expansion aims to deliver more than US$1 billion in economic impact to Riyadh through exhibitor and delegate spending on travel and hospitality.

Saudi Arabia Set for World’s Biggest Event Expansion as Tahaluf Reveals Plans for 20 New Exhibitions Within 18 Months

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 18th Dec 2023: Tahaluf, the strategic joint venture between Informa PLC, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), and the Events Investment Fund (EIF), has announced the single biggest events expansion program in Saudi history with plans to launch 20 new sectors-specific trade and consumer events in the Kingdom within 18 months.

The massive expansion will see Tahaluf debut iconic Informa brands in Saudi Arabia, including CPHI and Cosmoprof to serve the global pharmaceutical and beauty industries, enhance existing flagship brands, such as the real estate-focused Cityscape Global, and launch new titles and concepts aligned with the strategic objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The expansion will propel Tahaluf from its current ranking of largest Saudi Arabia-based event organiser in terms of square metres to the top spot in the Middle East.

“Our new events will focus on Vision 2030’s strategically important sectors, including technology, real estate, infrastructure, aviation, pharmaceuticals, food, health and beauty, tourism, finance and hospitality,” said Michael Champion, CEO of Tahaluf and a co-creator of LEAP, the world’s fastest-growing technology event. “This scaling up of our already successful portfolio represents an unprecedented growth curve in the global events industry, and helps realise national ambitions in job creation, new business opportunities, support for economic diversification, and the delivery of tangible economic impact.”

The expansion is estimated to generate more than US$1 billion in economic impact in Riyadh through exhibitor and delegate spending on travel and hospitality. The macroeconomic impact will complement Tahaluf’s investment in new office spaces in the country’s capital and its planned recruitment of up to 200-plus professionals over the coming year, including Saudi nationals.

“In addition, the events will further position Saudi Arabia as a global player in the staging of live events and expose international businesses to the reality of the Kingdom today as a dynamic and vibrant marketplace open to investment, collaboration, and tourism from all corners of the world,” added Champion.

Since its launch, one year ago, Tahaluf has made a huge impact on the global events sector delivering record-breaking, award-winning events including LEAP, which, with the support of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), has become the world’s most-attended tech show; the inaugural Cityscape Global last September; the artificial intelligence (AI) event DeepFest; the Saudi Government-backed ‘InFlavour’ global F&B mega-event; the Global Health Exhibition; and Black Hat MEA, the world's most attended infosec event.

Tahaluf’s outstanding success has seen the company attract investment from SAFCSP, EIF - a part of the National Development Fund - and will soon include Sela, the PIF-owned event production company, joining Tahaluf’s shareholders. The announced expansion will see Tahaluf further stretch its lead as Kingdom’s largest exhibition and large scale conference organiser.

“With this powerful shareholder base, Tahaluf is now unrivalled in its ability to deliver and create outstanding quality events that turbo-charge transformation across Saudi Arabia’s high potential MICE sector,” said Champion. “The expanded portfolio will help increase the MICE sector’s share of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil GDP by bringing global expertise and foreign direct investment into the Kingdom, while creating economic and environmentally sustainable public-private partnerships. Additionally, the development of the MICE ecosystem will propel the tourism sector’s annual GDP contribution from its current three per cent to more than 10 per cent by 2030.”

Champion added the portfolio of planned launches represents strategic industry-specific vehicles for Tahaluf, the events sector, and Saudi Arabia. “Each new trade event will feature investment enabling formats, including investor and venture capitalist funding platforms, business matchmaking, and start-up pitching programmes. These will bring the latest technical know-how to the Kingdom and catalyse cross-border collaboration, partnerships, and inward investment. High-profile trade events have time and again proven their worth as business generation platforms shortcutting the time-to-market for many ventures looking for a foothold in Saudi Arabia – and the wider region – and our new titles, many of Informa's most valuable IPs from USA, Europe and Asia, will exemplify this business-focussed approach.”