The inaugural IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit recently welcomed more than 700 attendees during the two-day event.

During the event, there were educational sessions, networking events, and EDUTours taking place in Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh.

Peter van der Schans, vice president and executive director for IAAPA Europe, Middle East, Africa, commented on the debut event: “As we continue growing our membership base, we have turned a focus on the Middle East as it is one of the fastest-growing regions for development within the attractions industry. 

“This event allowed us to spend more time with our members based in Saudi Arabia while allowing us to introduce ourselves to new business owners and developers who would benefit from joining IAAPA.”

Ten education sessions covered a variety of topics such as the future workforce for the entertainment industry, an update on developments planned in Saudi Arabia, continued supply chain demands, and the art of excellent customer service. 

More than 30 speakers from 13 countries participated at the trade event, representing established international companies like Disneyland Paris, Europa Park, Parques Reunidos and Six Flags Qiddiya.

The sold-out event featured 24 exhibiting companies in the Trade Connections Area, which allowed attendees and business owners to meet face-to-face and build new relationships and find potential industry partners.

An EDUTour visit to Boulevard Riyadh City, a 900,000 sq.m entertainment zone which opened in 2021 during Riyadh Season, was one of the main attractions of the trade show.

Boulevard World is a tourist attraction with rides and entertainment spread throughout 16 zones.

IAAPA partnered with the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) to support the entertainment industry in the country and to organise this event.

Image: IAAPA