Saudi’s new Event Investment Fund to develop 35 venues by 2030

The fund will be capitalised with $3.7bn and aims to have a GDP impact of $7.5bn

The Events Investment Fund (EIF) has been launched by Saudi Arabia, and it aims to develop sustainable infrastructure for the culture, tourism, entertainment and sports sectors across the Kingdom. The EIF will be capitalised with US $3.7bn to directly develop more than 35 world-class venues across the Kingdom by 2030. It also aims to create strategic partnerships to boost the local industry, increase foreign investment and contribute to Vision 2030’s aim of a vibrant society.

The fund was announced by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Prime Minister and Chairman of EIF.

According to a statement, the fund will focus on developing and increasing direct foreign investment opportunities for a GDP impact of $7.5bn by 2045. It will further raise capital by providing lucrative high-return opportunities to the private sector and financial institutions.

Part of the EIF’s remit will be to nurture partnerships between the private and public sectors, and securing a supportive environment for strategic partnership in the events industry and increasing the number of job opportunities for citizens, the statement noted.

In late November 2022, PIF subsidiary SEVEN said it would US $13.3bn into 21 integrated entertainment destinations in KSA.

The ultimate aim of the EIF is to position Saudi Arabia as a global hub in these various events sectors, to provide world-class sustainable infrastructure for the delivery of an ambitious national events calendar, and to create sustainable financial returns to support the Kingdom’s economic diversification efforts, the Kingdom emphasised.

EIF assets will include indoor arenas, art galleries, theatres and conference centres, horse-racing tracks, auto racing tracks and other event facilities across the Kingdom, with the aim of delivering its first asset by 2023.

Aligned with the Kingdom’s sustainability agenda, the fund is committed to upholding the highest environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. EIF’s strategy is focused on three main pillars, which include enhancing its environment, invigorating societies and maintaining strong governance, the statement explained.

The statement noted that the EIF will contribute to Vision 2030 with respect to diversifying the economy and increasing its share of non-oil GDP, as well as supporting the contribution of the tourism sector to annual GDP, from its current rate of 3% to more than 10% by 2030.

In early January 2023, the US-Saudi Business Council said that $6.7bn in contracts were awarded in Saudi Arabia in Q3 2022.

Additionally, EIF will support the transformation of the Kingdom into a global tourist destination, attracting more than 100m visitors by 2030 and making it one of the world’s most visited countries, the statement elaborated.

This is aligned with the Kingdom’s quality of life programme, which aims to improve the quality of life for individuals and families by developing the necessary sustainable venues.

The EIF’s vision is also said to be aligned with the National Development Fund’s strategy, and aims to make the fund a pivotal enabler for the economic and social objectives of Vision 2030; overcoming existing development challenges in line with global best practices and stimulating a threefold increase in the private sector’s impact on the Kingdom’s economy by 2030, the statement concluded.

Also in early January 2023, PIF and Ma’aden signed a JV to establish a new entity to invest in global mining assets.

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