NEOM Co. signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabian Federation of Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), paving the way for a wide range of collaborations and initiatives that will enhance the destination’s ambition to be a leading esports capital and boost its tourism industry through the promotion and support of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sport.
As esports competitions evolve into major tourist attractions, revenue potential continues to spiral with dedicated arenas being built worldwide. Saudi Arabia has unique advantages in this boom: with 21% of the Kingdom’s young, tech-savvy population already participating weekly in online gaming, a host of elite-level athletes of both genders are emerging.
Capitalizing on the potential in esports, SAFEIS was established with the mandate of nurturing the Saudi gaming community, providing athletes with global platforms upon which to showcase their skills, and facilitating Saudi Arabia’s evolution as a regional and global eSports hub.
HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, President SAFEIS said: “NEOM has the potential to be a global leader in esports and the federation is committed to be its partner in this ambitious journey. NEOM is the land of the future and SAFEIS is the gateway to the generation and the sport of the future.”
NEOM Managing Director of Sports Jan Paterson said “We are pleased to partner with SAFEIS because esports are an integral part of the NEOM offering as it reflects our ambition to become the leading destination for the youth who are the majority of esports athletes.”
NEOM is a giga-project being built in 26,500km2 of pristine desert, coast and mountains straddling the Jordanian and Egyptian borders in the Kingdom’s northwest. NEOM’s goal is to become a leading sustainable and futuristic location to live and visit, with a target to attract one million residents and 5 million tourists by 2030.