How do you get 10 Saudi brands under one roof?

Giga and mega projects along with government entities came together under Invest Saudi at Cannes

Saudi Arabian government entities and developers came together last month at MIPIM, the world’s leading real estate event held annually in Cannes, France.

They included the likes of the Diriyah Company, King Salman Park and NEOM, which focussed on two key projects: THE LINE and Trojena.

The 10 entities joined forces to showcase the Kingdom’s huge investment in infrastructure, real estate and tourism transformation.

Attended by 21,000 delegates, 6,500 investors and more than 300 exhibitors from 90 countries, it was a show of strength from Saudi Arabia as it looks to present its brands on the global stage.

Invest Saudi’s participation in MIPIM was managed by Riyadh-based events company Enso Arabia, and led by Elie Daccache, its business development manager

 He spoke to Campaign Middle East about how you bring together ten different brands under one roof – or in this case three roofs – at this global event.

 What brands were there?

Ten Saudi entities took part in MIPIM, led by the Ministry of Investment under the umbrella Invest Saudi brand.  These included government entities and some of the Kingdom’s most prominent giga and mega projects. These included the Ministry of Culture (Architecture and Design Commission), Diriyah Company, NEOM, New Murabba, King Salman Park, Riyadh Region Municipality, Ha’il Region Development Authority, Roshn and multidiscipline design consultancy, AE7.  NEOM focussed on two key projects: THE LINE and Trojena.

What CEOs took part?

Government leaders, CEOs and other senior leaders from all participating entities took part.  Among them:  Fahad Al Heshem, Assistant Deputy Minister of Investment Development; Dr Sumayah Al-Solaiman,  CEO, Architecture and Design Commission; Eng. Mohammed Alwabely,  Assistant Deputy Mayor,  Iconic Projects in Riyadh Region Municipality;  Jerry Inzerillo, CEO at Diriyah; Michael Dyke, CEO at New Murabba, George Tanasijevich, CEO of King Salman Park; and John Kim, Principle and Design Director at AE7. Giles Pendleton, COO at NEOM’s THE LINE and Jean-Philippe Patesson, Executive Director Projects at NEOM’s Trojena, also attended.

What was the discussion about?

Invest Saudi attended to showcase the Kingdom’s unprecedented investment in infrastructure, real estate and tourism transformation, and connect with a global  audience to drive more investment into the country.  KSA entities signed 15 MOUs during the event.

The Invest Saudi also staged its own conference – Saudi Talks – across the first three days of MIPIM, with more than 25 leaders from the Ministry of Investment, Saudi developers and the real estate fraternity taking part in 16 different sessions, with additional participation in five sessions on the MIPIM conference programme.

Was this the first time that all these Saudi brands came together?

While Invest Saudi and some KSA brands exhibited at MIPIM in 2022 and 2023, it was never on this scale.  The 2024 event saw the biggest participation to date, with more than 1,430 sq metres of seafront exhibition space across three spectacular pavilions featuring stunning scale models and an array of interactive, educational attractions including live construction footage streamed from KSA.

Elie Daccache, Enso Arabia’s business development manager

What is the significance of having them all together under one umbrella?

KSA has more than US$1.8 trillion worth of residential and hospitality projects under construction or in the pipeline, and demand for real estate is set to increase with the 2027 AFC Asian Cup and EXPO 2030.  Bringing together the government entities and developers who are helping to turn Vision 2030 into a reality gave investors real insight into the scale of development under way, and showed how the entities are working together to transform the country’s real estate and tourism sectors.  A record-breaking 12,500 MIPIM delegates visited the pavilions across the three days, including Lord Dominic Johnson, UK Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade, who witnessed the unveiling of Diriyah’s ‘The Arena’ live at the event.

How long did it take to organise this, and what was involved from a logistics point of view?

The project took nine months of preparation. Initially, one pavilion was confirmed immediately after MIPIM 2023, but more spaces and pavilions were ordered after KSA was awarded the hosting of EXPO 2030.  The pavilions took around a month to design and another two months to produce.