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Flash Entertainment plans to open a standalone office in Saudi Arabia within 3 months as the Kingdom becomes a hotspot for events and entertainment.
The entertainment company, based in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the leading live entertainment companies in the Middle East, known for hosting some of the world’s biggest events, including several Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grands Prix, the FIFA Club World Cup, UAE National Day, AFC Asian Cup – arguably the region’s biggest event ahead of the upcoming Qatar World Cup – and even a visit from the Pope François in the United Arab Emirates in 2019, which brought together more than 180,000 people.
“The new office will be the Saudi headquarters, it’s a standalone site, it’s not a branch office,” the company’s CEO, John Lickrish, told Arab News. “We have a branch in Dubai, but here we wanted to set up our own office.” The new office will create 25 jobs for Saudi citizens. Lickrish, who was in Riyadh for the fourth edition of the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo this week, was attending the event to connect with the local industry community.
“I’m here to connect with vendors and decision makers in the local community and try to make people aware that we’re entering the market,” he said. “We’ve held events here, but now that we’re establishing an office, we want to embed the GCC into a network of reliable promoters and suppliers that we can rely on, and that’s the real purpose of this.”
The SEA Expo, held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, is the premier trade event dedicated to Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning entertainment and leisure industry, with vendors from around the world showcasing the latest and greatest advancements in sector.
This year’s event brought together some of the industry’s leading product, service and technology brands from more than 25 countries, as part of the Kingdom’s plans to become the entertainment and leisure hub of the Middle East. East.
The show provides a global platform for leading manufacturers and suppliers of entertainment and leisure products and services to do business with investors, distributors, government officials and owners of shopping malls, cinemas and entertainment centers. family, as well as with key procurement professionals involved in small and mega Saudi entertainment and leisure projects.
“The office will mostly have people from KSA,” Lickrish said. “We will train them in our systems and processes, but they have to be here in the field. Currently we are looking at 25 (local hires) based on our business plan for the next three years. From there, the sky is the limit.
Flash Entertainment covers everything from event ideation, event management, marketing and communications, ticketing and sales, talent recruitment and full operational and production delivery, as well as event management. a portfolio of assets including Etihad Park and the state-of-the-art Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
However, the location of the office has yet to be decided, with Jeddah and Dammam being potential cities for setting up the store.
“It’s a large population, so for us it’s interesting, and it’s also an emerging market in the region.” said Lickrish. “I think what’s important for us now is really laying the groundwork, making sure that the country and the region are portrayed as not just capable but excellent in this area. And then we’ll move on to regional talent and one will develop local markets. According to Lickrish, the company created the first city-wide integrated entertainment program for Formula 1 in 2009, which has since been emulated with subsequent grands prix around the world.” So it was an innovation that we introduced to the global market.”
Lickrish himself has been in the entertainment business for over 30 years and in the area for 14 years. He hopes to lend his expertise to Saudi Arabia which plans to invest $64 billion in the development of the entertainment industry over the next decade. within the framework of Vision 2030.
“My goal is to see a self-sustaining and vibrant regional business that enjoys international recognition and ultimately a global footprint,” he said. “We want to offer them a unique experience, as well as a cultural and international experience.”