Movers and shakers at Coliseum MENA meet


Coliseum Summit MENA 2023 at Meydan Racecourse Image: Dubai Media Office

It is yet another feat for ‘Coliseum’ in its conferences trajectory as the 2023 Coliseum Summit MENA to be held at the Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE, on February 15th, 2023, will be the 11th year of the summit – the only stadium and arena business conference in the MENA region.

The high point is that following the 2022 Coliseum Europe Summit held at the Ascot Racecourse (UK) in March, ‘Coliseum’ has chosen another famous race course with the 2023 MENA conference to be held at the 60,000-capacity Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. The race course boasts a horse racing museum, gallery and a five-star hotel and nine-hole golf course. When not in use for racing, it serves as a business and conference center.


The goal and purpose of Coliseum Summits is to do a postmortem on the challenges being faced by the sports venue industry and the lessons learned thereof. Venue pundits’ prescription on how to overcome the challenges forms the nucleus of Coliseum meets.

The 2023 Coliseum MENA conference will be graced by the movers and shakers of the venue industry and the main topic of discussion will be how the Middle East is emerging as the next powerhouse of sports events. The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ which concluded in Qatar not very long back was a resounding success. The Gulf Cup which just concluded in Iraq was held with much fanfare and sparked hopes of a bright future for the country’s embattled football prospects.

Big ticket sporting events are lined up to be held this year and in 2024 in the Middle East and the summit will discuss how Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly emerging as the powerhouse and ‘The Destination’ to host sporting extravaganzas. The entire planet’s focus was on Middle East during Qatar 2022 and the excitement continues in the region with major sporting events to be held in 2023 starting from golf to tennis to the adrenaline rush F1 events.

Qatar does enjoy its share of spiffy stadia, but in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the other Gulf countries the need of the hour is to construct more state-of-the-art sporting facilities and the upcoming Coliseum MENA meet high-profile speakers will discuss this topic as well as the challenges of the whole value-added chain of stadiums and arenas in order to develop better and more profitable venues.

Qatar 2022 did script a success story despite huge challenges and the just-concluded Gulf Cup in Iraq was hugely embraced by fans and there was a lot of euphoria centered on the show as it was being held in strife-torn Basra after 20 years. The Coliseum conference will also discuss the challenges faced by the authorities strictly speaking in terms of the security aspect in Iraq.

With the Gulf region’s growing influence in terms of sporting events as the region is rapidly establishing itself as a hub for sports and entertainment, constructing world-class venues will prove to be the cherry on the cake.

The 2024 Gulf Cup will be held in Kuwait. The world of international sports and the Arab States of the Gulf – particularly Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – have become inseparable. With soccer showcases, F1 races and tennis spectacle being held in the Gulf region in a big way, it has indeed become an international sports hub.

The Coliseum Summit will also discuss how with the Middle East region landing most of the sporting extraordinaire, with it also comes the set of challenges. The conclave will also deliberate on the whole stadium and arena business moving to Saudi Arabia because the country is building six or seven new stadia and is likely to even host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup with India withdrawing last December as one of the last two bidders thus leaving Saudi Arabia alone in the race.

All said and done, the Middle East region is indeed emerging as a sports destination unto itself.

Movers and Shakers

The big names of the sports venue industry will grace the 2023 Coliseum MENA conference – Jon Dutton, Chief Executive, Rugby League World Cup 2021, UK, Olivier Roure, Business Development Director, Sport Facilities, L-Acoustics, US, Peter Smith, Head of Change and Sustainability, Bristol Sport, UK, Luke Harrison, Architect Director, BDP Pattern, UK, Mansour Al-Sugayer, Director of Community Programs, SFA Domes, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan Gardner, Minority Investor, Swansea City AFC, UK, to name a few.

All the venue sector intelligentsia will descend on Meydan Racecourse on February 15th, 2023 and the Coliseum MENA Summit promises an enriching exchange of ideas with all the big names of the sports venue sector in attendance.

So, get ready for a gripping session and watch this space for more details on the Coliseum MENA Summit.


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