Complex Made Simple

First ISF Saudi highlights Saudi market potential for businesses

The success of Saudi Arabia’s first International Sport & Fitness Exhibition, ISF Saudi, which was held at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events from 24th – 27th November 2014, has demonstrated the strong market potential for the industry in the Kingdom.

The show, which promoted the importance of a healthy lifestyle and provided a convenient platform for businesses, government organisations and all interested parties to connect under one roof, welcomed more than 6,000 visitors. Organised by Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions and powered by FIBO, the worldwide leading trade fair for fitness, wellness and health, the exhibition, co-located alongside the Saudi Health & Beauty Show, showcased 60 exhibitors and over 100 brands from 15 international destinations.

While the Kingdom’s sports and fitness sector-in its emergent phase-is still fragmented, unstructured and evolving, figures report a 300 percent increase in the number of sports companies established over the past four years. Growing at a rate of eight percent per annum, the sports retail market is currently valued at $8bn, and the relatively low barriers to entry make Saudi Arabia an attractive destination for foreign investment.

“Given the nation’s social and political backdrop, there is no better time than now to raise the health consciousness of the Saudi population and for international investors to give some serious consideration to Saudi Arabia as a potential new market,” commented Simon Blazeby, Head of Exhibitions at Reed Sunaidi. “With 68.3 percent of the population being overweight and 40 percent obese, diabetes is a serious concern. To counter the growing problem, the government has launched a series of initiatives, pushing sport to the forefront of the agenda, investing in sports infrastructure and striving to raise the status of the Kingdom as a national and international sporting events destination. ISF Saudi is the first international exhibition dedicated to sport, health and wellbeing, and we at Reed Sunaidi Exhibitions are grateful to H.R.H Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the General Presidency of Youth & Welfare for their support in staging this event,” he added.

Catering to sports enthusiasts and industry professionals, ISF Saudi offered its visitors a broad spectrum of activities-engagement with leading brands and sports clubs, opportunities to test and compare the latest products and developments in the sector and a programme of sporting activities conducted in a purpose-built, outdoor, multifunctional mini-stadium, including a university football tournament, a street basketball tournament, and a disabled basketball competition.

To encourage communication, collaboration and the fostering of business-to-business, business-to-government and other commercial relationships, a high level forum accompanied the event. Focusing on the development of a macro sports policy, the promotion of sporting success, success management in fitness, and the interrelationship between sport, fitness and wellbeing, forum speakers included delegates from Deloitte, Technogym, Fitness Time, the Asian Football Federation, the Real Madrid Foundation, Delta Marketing, Green Vision, IMG Global and Olympia.

Ahmad Shakashiro, Training & Corporate Relations Manager, Health & Fitness Division at Delta Marketing, said: “For us, the show was not only an opportunity to exhibit, but also to participate in the ISF Saudi Forum and the activities organised at the fitness activity zone. The one-on-one training sessions and group exercises attracted significant attention and the visitor interest displayed at our booth is a testament to the shift in the community’s mindset towards fitness, sport and a healthy lifestyle.”

ISF Saudi is set to return on 25th – 28th November 2015.