At the recently concluded European Association for Sport Management’s (EASM) 23rd conference, representatives from the Josoor Institute spoke about the business and management of sport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The conference, which took place 9-12 September in Dublin, gathered leading scholars and experts to explore themes related to sports management.
Representatives from Josoor Institute, a centre of excellence in the sports and events industries founded by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), chaired a set of presentations and panel discussions during a workshop titled ‘Business and Management of Sport in the Middle East and North Africa Region’. This was the first time that a workshop focusing on sports in the MENA region was presented in Europe.
“The sports industry in the MENA region has recently experienced rapid growth in terms of both infrastructure and human capital and is still expanding’, said Mushtaq Al Waeli, Executive Director (acting) at Josoor Institute, who was also the chair at the panel discussion. ‘The conference was a great opportunity for Josoor Institute to position the MENA region as one of the top destinations for sporting events in front of a large international audience.”
It is estimated that the global sports industry is currently worth between $480 and $620 billion, and that revenues generated by the industry will amount to more than $145 billion by the end of 2015. The MENA region is witnessing particularly rapid growth, with revenues growing by 7% per annum according to data from PwC. Such growth is being driven by, among others things, significant investments in sports made by countries within MENA, and by events being staged and hosted across the region.
The ‘Business and Management of Sport in the Middle East and North Africa Region’ workshop consisted of two parts. In the first, participants presented papers focused on the sports industry in the MENA region, covering subjects such as sports fan engagement and how to leverage the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ for the promotion of active and green living.
The second portion of the workshop was dedicated to panel discussions featuring a team of fifteen delegates representing Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, France, Italy, Belgium and the UK. The panel participants included Mushtaq Al Waeli, Advisor to the Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Executive Director (acting) at Josoor Institute; Professor Simon Chadwick, Consultant Research Director at Josoor Institute and Chair in Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry University Business School; speakers from Josoor Institute’s programmes included Professor Sue Bridgewater, Director of Sports Research, University of Liverpool; Nicola McCullough, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University; Jonathan Sibley, Events Management Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University; and Doctor Eleni Theodoraki from Edinburgh Napier University.
During the panel discussions, the speakers explored the prospects for academic research related to the business and management of sports in the MENA region, discussing ongoing projects and opportunities for additional study, examining the challenges faced by researchers, and offering advice and conclusions for individuals and organisations interested in exploring the sports industry in the Middle East.
Commenting on Josoor Institute’s attendance at the international conference, Al Waeli said: “I was pleased to see the increased number of people from across the world who are becoming interested in the MENA region’s potential in the sports industry”.