ASM to run terrain-inspired Riyadh center



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ASM Global appoints Manager for Saudi conference center Image: ASM Global

The King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC) and the leading venue management company ASM Global have entered a strategic partnership for the ASM Global to lead the operation and management of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

‘ASM Global’ stated that recognized for its architectural excellence, cutting-edge facilities and versatile spaces, under the leadership of ASM Global, the KAFD Conference Center plans to elevate its standing as a premier venue for international gatherings, trade shows and cultural experiences.

Situated in Riyadh, the 600-seat King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Conference Center is an iconic business and lifestyle destination with state-of-the-art physical and digital infrastructure. The destination is owned and managed by the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), which was established in 2018 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The KAFD’s 95 towers, designed by 25 world-leading architectural firms, have reshaped the skyline of Riyadh. The vibrant mixed-use district offers a range of experiences across its area of 1.6 million square meters and is the largest development globally to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which recognizes the KAFD as a global leader in sustainability.

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)-based the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. It is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of US$776 billion. It was created in 1971 for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Washington, D.C., (US)-based the U.S. Green Building Council, founded in 1993, is a private 5013, membership-based non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction and operation.

Los Angeles (US)-based the ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for the venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 350 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues.

‘ASM Global’ further stated that a state-of-the-art facility capable of hosting various types of events and conferences, the Conference Center includes a 1,215 sqm banquet hall that accommodates up to 800 guests, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support and several outdoor plazas. It is fitted with operable walls and retractable projection screens, allowing for different configurations and digital networking.

Home to 1.6 million square meters of state-of-the-art office spaces, world-class venues and iconic luxury residences, designed to transform the way the urban communities live, work and play, the KAFD is the largest Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified mixed-use business district in the world which is owned and managed by the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The LEED Gold certified Conference Center is designed by the American architectural, urban planning and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), and inspired by Saudi Arabia’s desert landscape. Defined by its bold structure, it features an organic faceted profile that connects the building with the surrounding terrain.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is an American architectural, urban planning and engineering firm. It was founded in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings in Chicago. In 1939, they were joined by engineer John Merrill.

Put in Paul Sergeant, ASM Global’s Executive Vice-President (EVP) of Asia and MENA, “Our commitment to excellence in venue management, event production and customer service aligns perfectly with the KAFD Convention Center’s vision of becoming a global event destination. With ASM Global Middle East North Africa (MENA’s) extensive global network, expertise and industry-leading technology, we aim to provide event organizers with the tools and support they need to host successful and memorable events. As we embark on this exciting journey, the ASM Global is committed to upholding the highest standards of sustainability, innovation and community engagement. We look forward to building lasting partnerships with the event organizers, the local businesses and the Riyadh community to create a thriving event ecosystem.”

Added Gautam Sashittal, head honcho of KAFD DMC, “As the world ushers in a new era of global connectivity and transformative events, we’re filled with enthusiasm and anticipation about this partnership. Notably, Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector has recently increased its 2030 target to host 150 million visitors, a substantial increase from the initial goal of 100 million. Riyadh, in line with a steady annual growth rate of 3.5 percent, anticipates a demographic surge, projecting a population of 10.5 million by 2030. Therefore, this collaboration underscores our commitment to delivering unparalleled event experiences within an integrated and comprehensive business and lifestyle destination, by working diligently with all the concerned parties, in order to achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030.”

The Saudi Vision 2030 is a Government program launched by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which aims to achieve the goal of increased diversification economically, socially and culturally, in line with the vision of the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

Concluded Iain Wooldridge, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice-President (VP) of Regional Planning of ASM Global MENA, “Assuming the operation of the KAFD Convention Center is a testament to the ASM Global MENA’s dedication to shaping the future of the event industry in the region. We are thrilled to collaborate with the visionary team behind the KAFD Convention Center to bring innovative solutions and unparalleled experiences to event organizers and attendees alike.”

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