The MENA leisure and entertainment industry is expected to touch the $14 billion mark
by 2028, driven by significant tourist footfall and consumer willingness to spend on
The leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is expected to
welcome around 250 million visitors by 2028, contributing $14 billion to the region’s economy, indicates
research by consulting firm Redseer.
With several mega projects underway, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will be one of the fastest-
growing leisure and entertainment markets in the region, with approximately 85 million visitors
contributing $5 billion to the country’s economy during the said period.
For perspective, in 2023 alone Saudi Arabia welcomed approximately 30 million international tourists,
closely followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that recorded 25 million tourists. Talking about the
UAE, the country’s leisure and entertainment sector is set to expand by a 9.7% CAGR through 2027,
estimates market research firm MarkNtel Advisors.
As the industry shows resilience and a robust growth outlook with each country in the MENA region
developing and diversifying its portfolio of unique offerings to cater to visitors and residents, the Middle
East & North Africa Leisure and Attraction Council (MENALAC) has announced its annual awards
ceremony to recognise and honour leaders driving the regional leisure and entertainment industry
The MENALAC Awards' sixth edition is now accepting nominations across 27 categories for leisure
and entertainment operators, manufacturers, and suppliers. To nominate your company, visit
https://www.menalac.org/product/menalac-awards-gala-2024/. The submission deadline is January
“The MENALAC Awards ceremony illustrates the pivotal role of the leisure and entertainment sector in
region’s long term diversified economic strategy. Our Awards recognise the incredible efforts,
achievements and strengths of everyone involved in the leisure industry across the MENA region. In
addition, these events allow shared knowledge and expertise across our membership base that helps the
industry to evolve and grow,” stated Mike Rigby, Head of MENALAC Event Committee and General
Manager & Regional Vice President – Middle East & India for WhiteWater.
Once the nomination round closes, an eminent jury panel will judge the nominations against set criteria in
each category. Explaining the nomination process, Rigby shared, “Our commitment is to deliver a fair
and transparent process by always seeking feedback and ensuring a diverse jury panel to judge the
Every year MENALAC selects the jury members for each category bearing in mind the below criteria:
- Experts who have knowledge of the region and the leisure & entertainment sector.
- Individuals from across the region and representing all categories within leisure & entertainment.
- Multiple jurors in every category to avoid any conflict of interest.
In summation, sharing MENALAC’s expectations from this year’s awards ceremony, Rigby said, “The
2024 edition of the MENALAC Awards will be the biggest yet with more nominees and attendees than
ever before. The quality of submissions and nominees illustrate the continued evolution and development
of this region and how we all continue to deliver best-in-class experiences that the entire world recognises