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Saudi Arabia’s Events Investment Fund acquires stake in Tahaluf, the Informa-KSA strategic joint venture supporting Vision 2030

  • Strategic joint venture combines the expertise of Informa, Events Investment Fund, SAFCSP and SELA
  • Tahaluf will launch new B2B and B2C live events and services
  • JV also plans to bring iconic Informa brands to Saudi Arabia

LONDON – Events Investment Fund (EIF), a part of National Development Fund has acquired a stake in Tahaluf, the Saudi Arabian large-scale live events company created through a strategic joint venture between the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) and Informa, the international academic markets, B2B markets and digital services group.

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.

This investment is in line with EIF’s strategy to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the culture, tourism, entertainment and sports sectors across the Kingdom, by building multiple world class venues by 2030.

By leveraging Informa’s global expertise, 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.

In a span of two years, the founding partners of Tahaluf – SAFCSP and Informa – together with the Ministry of Communications and IT, have turned LEAP into the world’s most attended tech event with attendance reaching 172,000 in 2023. Tahaluf’s strategy is to super charge other launch events at similar rates.

The joint venture supports the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 with respect to diversifying the economy and increasing its share in the non-oil GDP within Saudi Arabia, by bringing global expertise and foreign direct investment into the Kingdom and creating economic and environmentally sustainable public/private partnerships. The development of the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (“MICE”) ecosystem will support the contribution of the tourism sector to annual GDP, from its current rate of three percent to more than 10 percent by 2030.

The acquisition of a stake in Tahaluf, meaning ‘Alliance’ in Arabic, was formally announced with a signing ceremony at Informa’s headquarters in London yesterday (26 July 2023). In attendance were Lord Stephen Carter CBE, the Group CEO of Informa PLC; Faisal Al Khamisi, SAFCSP Chairman; Ahmed AlJasser, acting CEO of EIF; Alrayan Gadouri Chief of Staff of Sela; Muteb Al Qani CEO SAFCSP; Mike Champion, CEO of Tahaluf, and other representatives of the JV group.

Lord 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 have demonstrated the power of the Tahaluf collaboration, and this increased investment will accelerate its impact across sectors.”

Faisal Al Khamisi, 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.”

Ahmed AlJasser, acting CEO of EIF said: “We at EIF are honored and 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.”

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.”