Friday, February 3, 2023

Saudi Arabia sets up $3.7bn Events Investment Fund

Saudi Arabia has launched the Events Investment Fund (EIF) that aims to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the culture, tourism, entertainment and sports sectors across the kingdom.

The fund, announced by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Prime Minister and Chairman of EIF, also aims to create strategic partnerships to boost local industry, increase foreign investment and contribute to Vision 2030’s aim of a vibrant society.

EIF will be capitalised with SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) to directly develop more than 35 world-class venues across the kingdom by 2030, said a statement.

GDP IMPACT OF $75bn

The fund will focus on developing and increasing direct foreign investment opportunities for a GDP impact of SR28 billion ($7.5 billion) by 2045.

The fund will further raise capital by providing lucrative high-return opportunities to the private sector and financial institutions.

The focus will be on nurturing partnerships between the private and public sectors, securing a supportive environment for strategic partnership in the events industry and increasing the number of job opportunities for citizens.

The aim of EIF is to position the kingdom as the 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.

EIF assets 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, said a statement.

GLOBAL TOURIST DESTINATION

The Events Investment Fund is committed to attracting foreign investment and maintaining financial standards aimed at strengthening its investment portfolio and achieving sustainable growth in both returns and assets. EIF is also contributing 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 per cent to more than 10 per cent by 2030.

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

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 Events Investment Fund’s vision is aligned with the National Development Fund’s strategy, launched by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, 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.

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