Saudi Arabia Creates Convention Bureau

Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Council of Ministers — the king’s cabinet — has issued a national decree forming the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), it announced last month.

Led by Executive Manager Tariq Al-Essa, SECB will dedicate itself to developing exhibitions and conventions within Saudi Arabia in close collaboration with the country’s economic, cultural and social sectors. According to the Saudi government, the new entity’s objectives include:

• Implementing efficient and transparent licensing processes for the industry;
• Collecting and analyzing industry data and statistics;
• Classifying and enhancing current and future event venues;
• Developing event organizers through training and certification programs;
• Implementing marketing strategies; and
• Enhancing “Saudiazation” of the industry through the development of university programs and awareness initiatives promoting the sector.

“The convention and exhibition sector will offer strong support to the country’s ambitious plans to grow and diversify the economy,” Al-Essa said in a statement. “The SECB aims to successfully develop the MICE sector while offering great benefit to the sector’s stakeholders.”

A recent study by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) found that more than 3.2 million visitors attend events inside Saudi Arabia every year, generating an annual economic impact of $2.3 billion. For more information, visit SECB’s website.

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