Next World Forum presents ‘Saudi Spotlight’


The panel at the Forum will discuss the Kingdom’s role as an emerging global player in the booming gaming and esports economy, which is larger than Hollywood and the music industry combined…reports Asian Lite News

The Next World Forum will be inaugurated with a unique panel session entitled ‘Saudi Spotlight: What Now, What Next?’, featuring some of the most prominent government and private sector figures propelling Saudi Arabia’s growth strategy for gaming and esports.

Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh At Kingdom Center on Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8, the Next World Forum’s opening, scene-setting panel will highlight the Kingdom’s extensive gaming and esports aspirations.

The ‘Saudi Spotlight’ panel consists of:

  • HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sports
  • HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman, Saudi Esports Federation
  • HE Dr. Mohammed Altamimi, Governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC)
  • Eng. Nadhmi Al Nasr, CEO, NEOM
  • HE Abdullah Aldawood, Managing Director, Qiddiya
  • Brian Ward, Group CEO, SAVVY Gaming Group

The purpose of the ‘Saudi Spotlight: What Now, What Next?’ panel session – facilitating the first dedicated meeting of its kind – is to discuss the future of gaming and esports as a flourishing part of the Saudi Arabian economy. Integral to this is an ambition to develop the abundant talent that exists in the Kingdom and integrate related sectors.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “Saudi Spotlight, the scene-setting panel of the inaugural Next World Forum, is a golden opportunity to gather some of the brightest minds and main players helping deliver the Kingdom’s ambitions of being a global leader in esports and gaming.

“As well as highlighting the economic opportunities and gains sought, there will also be focus on the crucial, wider holistic thinking behind those ambitions – which spans multiple government bodies and sectors, as well as the large local demand. The passion for gaming in Saudi Arabia – where around 70 percent of the nation’s 35 million population are gamers – is immense. The potential for further growth, however, is even bigger. Saudi Spotlight at the Next World Forum will act as a fulcrum for ensuring that potential is fully captured across all aspects of gaming and esports in Saudi Arabia.”

The panel at the Forum will discuss the Kingdom’s role as an emerging global player in the booming gaming and esports economy, which is larger than Hollywood and the music industry combined. While the gaming and esports sector is currently dominated by the United States, China, South Korea and Japan, gaming consumption in Saudi Arabia is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2030.

Specific discussion points to be raised by the ‘Saudi Spotlight’ panel at the Next World Forum include:

  • The role of the Ministry of Sport, Saudi Esports Federation, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Qiddiya, NEOM, and SAVVY Gaming Group in gaming and esports
  • The collaboration between multiple ministries in this area, including integration into the various aspects of Vision 2030 and two key Giga projects
  • The impact of developing a sports culture and business economy, with reference to the professionalization of esports
  • The integration of gaming and esports into the digital economy strategy
  • The development of infrastructure, a gaming and esports hub, and incentives for international ecosystem players to be based in Saudi Arabia
  • The value chain from tech development and hardware, creative production, esports and changing consumption habits factored into future approach
  • The underlying funding, governance, regulator and implementation framework
  • The emerging trend-driven opportunities such as streaming, distribution, and sports professionalization that will be discussed throughout the two days of the Next World Forum

The Next World Forum recap

More than 1,000 delegates from across the globe will gather in Riyadh to discuss the most important issues in esports and gaming at the in-person Forum. The Forum will also feature activations, gaming masterclasses, bilateral meetings, and bring to a close Gamers8, the biggest esports and gaming event worldwide. The Next World Forum’s guestlist includes ministers of sport from leading nations across the world, investors, gamers, developers, tech providers, start-ups, public sector representatives, brands and advertisers, publishers, broadcasters, and federations and leagues. More information on the Next World Forum can be found at

Gamers8 recap

Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, Gamers8, the biggest esports and gaming event worldwide, runs daily throughout this summer until September 8 at a purpose-built venue at Boulevard Riyadh City. Elite esports tournaments are featuring alongside a series of big-name concerts, festivals, shows, and fun-filled activities for all ages. Further details, including ticket sales, are available on the event website.

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