Motivate Media Group and TRACCS, organisers of Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity has unveiled a four-day programme.
It will be held from 13 to 16 November 2023 at the Hotel Crowne Plaza Riyadh.
The announcement was made in the presence of key representatives from Saudi Conventions & Exhibitions General Authority (SCEGA), a strategic partner, and MBC Media Solutions (MMS), a co-partner of the festival.
It aims to be a new event that celebrates and nurtures creativity in the Kingdom.
The speaker lineup will include over 100 national and global industry strategists, innovators, and experts.
The festival will bring together 1,500 delegates from across the globe, including some of Saudi’s top companies such as Saudi Tourism Authority, Red Sea Global, STC, Saudi Aramco, Saudia and HungerStation.
It will feature 12 academies for young professionals, along with CMOs and the Maheerah women’s programme which is open to 10 women in the creative marcomms industry.
Amjad Shacker, Acting CEO of SCEGA said, “Creativity and innovation are at the core of Saudi Vision 2030, and as part of our ambition and role as a facilitator of global business collaboration and partnerships, it is our responsibility to attract and support new and high potential industries.”
Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, said, “Athar Festival will be the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry ever staged in the Kingdom.
“Our main objectives are aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, focusing on enriching the local innovation, advertising, and creative ecosystem. We are thrilled to bring together the best minds and talents from all over the world, creating an environment of collaborative learning and innovation, showcasing the boundless potential of creativity as a force for business, for change, and for good.”
Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS said, “For centuries, Saudi Arabia has been the global epicentre for trade, shaping its identity with a distinctive blend of culture, commerce, and creativity. Time is rife for us to truly celebrate and recognise the power of creativity as a key accelerator and enabler of the Kingdom’s sustainable, thriving, and future-forward economy.
Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, CEO of MBC Media Solutions (MMS), said, “It is our great pleasure to be a part of Athar Festival as it brings together the region’s most influential brands and individuals to foster connections and spark creativity. Athar Festival allows us to showcase our creative solutions and connect with creative individuals and make a difference.
The agenda features a lineup of speakers who will deliver insights across six content themes, namely, Technology as a creative driver; Strategies that help grow brands; Inspiration and idea generation; Work culture and talent; Bringing a positive change to society; and Saudi Arabia – a thriving market for the creative community.
- H.H. Princess Loulwa Bint Yazeed Al Saud, Founder & CEO, +966 And CEO, RiseUp Saudi
- Asmaa Quorrich, CMO of Saudi Tourism Authority
- Mohammed Abaalkheil, Vice President Corporate Relations, STC
- Tracy Lanza, Group Head of Global Brand Development, Red Sea Global
- Khaled Tash, Group CMO of SAUDIA
- Mohammed Jifri, CMO of Hungerstation
- Kirk Collingwood, Director of Brand & Communication at Saudi Aramco
Creative industry experts and representatives of creative agencies include:
- Fernando Machado, Global CMO of NotCo, USA
- Khalid Abdulaziz, Head of Strategy, The Fullstop
- Dani Richa, Chairman and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa at BBDO
- Bassel Kakish, CEO ME and Turkey of Publicis Groupe
- Elda Choucair, CEO, Omnicom Media Group
- Mohamed Sehly, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett
- Mohammed Bahmishan, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, FP7 McCann KSA
- Rayyan Aoun, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson
Offering a broader perspective on commerce and creativity at the global level, some of the companies and brands will also partake in the festival and will be represented by their creative thought leaders. Some of them will include:
- Ali Cheikhali, Creative Strategy Lead at Google
- Garrett Olexiuk, Campaign & Creative Manager at Amazon
- Hala Zgheib, Head of Retail at Snapchat
- Sasha El Jurdi, Head of Content Programming at TikTok
- Jacqueline Bourke, Senior Director, Creative at Getty Images
- Aamir Allibhoy, Regional CMO at Tim Hortons MENA