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Saudi Arabia's MICE Industry: The Expanding Horizons

Saudi Arabia's Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions(MICE) sector is rapidly transforming, marking a significant pivot from its oil-dependent past to a more diversified future. This transformation aligns with Vision 2030, the kingdom's ambitious plan to diversify its economy and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.


by Roland Kümin* || 13 May 2024


Saudi Arabia is emerging as a hub for the MICE industry, fuelled by significant investments in infrastructure and strategic initiatives to attract global businesses. The kingdom is enhancing its allure as a top destination for international conferences, exhibitions, and business meetings. New world-class facilities and the expansion of existing venues are notable developments. Events such as Saudi Plastics & Petrochem, Saudi Print & Pack, and Saudi Smart Manufacturing underline the nation's dedication to integrating state-of-the-art technology and innovation into its industrial sectors.


Implications for Economic Diversification

The burgeoning MICE sector in Saudi Arabia represents a strong move towards economic diversification. Through significant investment in this sector, Saudi Arabia seeks to lessen its oil dependency while boosting tourism and other non-oil industries. The MICE industry's growth is also poised to drive job creation, providing enhanced employment opportunities for Saudis across various service and management sectors.


Reasons to Pay Attention

For businesses and professionals globally, the expansion of Saudi Arabia's MICE industry presents numerous opportunities. This sector's growth means enhanced potential for international partnerships, increased business tourism, and a platform for companies to enter or expand their presence in the Gulf and Middle Eastern markets. Moreover, events targeting key industries like logistics, agriculture, manufacturing, and energy offer valuable insights into the region’s market dynamics and investment opportunities.


Opportunities for Global Businesses in A Burgeoning Market

Engaging with Saudi Arabia’s MICE industry could be immensely beneficial for global businesses and investors. The region presents a burgeoning market backed by governmental support for foreign enterprises, access to a growing network of professionals, and opportunities to participate in cutting-edge exhibitions and conferences showcasing innovative technologies and products. For companies aiming to establish or reinforce their foothold in the Middle East, participating in Saudi MICE events could open doors to significant business development and valuable networking opportunities.


The oldest Saudi Arabian fair company, Riyadh Exhibitions Company, plays a crucial role in this, having established multiple flagship events that garner international attention and participation. These events not only demonstrate the kingdom's ability to organize top-tier exhibitions but also spotlight its strategic sectors like smart manufacturing and logistics, crucial for the modern global economy.


As Saudi Arabia continues to expand and enhance its MICE offerings, the prospects for global industries will only increase, establishing it as an indispensable player on the world's economic stage. Whether you're an investor, a business leader, or an industry participant, monitoring Saudi Arabia’s MICE developments is becoming increasingly vital.


Riyadh Exhibitions Company

The Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC) is a leading organizer of international trade exhibitions and conferences in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East region. Established in 1980 in Riyadh, REC has pioneered the concept of Business to Business (B2B) international trade fairs and conferences in the region. Over the past four decades, REC has organized numerous successful events, contributing significantly to the economic diversification efforts of the Kingdom.


REC’s portfolio includes major trade events such as Saudi Plastics & Petrochem, Saudi Print & Pack, Saudi Smart Manufacturing, Saudi Smart Logistics, Saudi Agriculture, Saudi Build, and Saudi Elenex. These events not only showcase the latest industry advancements but also serve as vital platforms for business networking and partnerships, supporting key sectors that are pivotal to Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.


For more detailed information, you can visit their official website via REC's official page.


A Gateway to New Opportunities for the MICE Industry: Understanding Saudi Vision 2030

Picture: The Saudi Vision 2030

Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s transformative agenda that leverages the Kingdom's rich cultural heritage, strategic geographic position, and economic strengths to transcend its traditional oil dependency. This ambitious plan has catalyzed a new era of economic diversification and openness, fostering a climate ripe for investment and innovation across strategic sectors. Significant societal reforms have enhanced community engagement, particularly benefiting women and youth, and have positioned Saudi Arabia as an open, vibrant destination on the global stage.


The implications for the MICE industry, including European businesses, are profound and multifaceted:

  • Market Expansion: Vision 2030's emphasis on diversification has led to the creation of world-class venues and infrastructure, making Saudi Arabia a new frontier for international events and conferences. This expansion opens up lucrative opportunities for European MICE companies looking to broaden their geographic reach.

  • Enhanced Connectivity: With its strategic location bridging East and West, Saudi Arabia offers European businesses a central hub for international conferences, exhibitions, and corporate events, enhancing global connectivity.

  • Sectoral Investments: Investments in sectors such as tourism, entertainment, and public infrastructure under Vision 2030 create numerous ancillary opportunities for the MICE industry, from event management to logistics and content production.

  • Regulatory Reforms: The wave of regulatory reforms has simplified business operations, making it easier for European companies to establish partnerships and operate within Saudi Arabia with greater transparency and efficiency.

  • Cultural Exchange: As Saudi Arabia opens up culturally, there is a growing interest in international events that promote cultural exchange. European event organizers can play a pivotal role in bridging cultures, further enriching the Saudi event landscape.



As Vision 2030 propels Saudi Arabia towards a future of innovation and inclusivity, the MICE business stands to benefit significantly. European companies, with their expertise and global perspectives, are particularly well-positioned to leverage these emerging opportunities. The evolving Saudi market not only invites business growth but also offers a platform for cultural and professional exchanges that could redefine the European presence in Middle Eastern markets.


For more information on Saudi Vision 2030, visit: Saudi Vision 2030 Official Website


 *Author Roland Kümin is a tech influencer, digital shaper and sales advisor in Zurich, Switzerland. He is an expert on the Asian and the global MICE economy. He lives in the Greater Zurich Area, Switzerland and Da Nang, Vietnam.

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