Unlocking the Future: 7th Edition of the MENALAC LEA Conferences to Focus on Innovation, Immersion, Health, Safety, Sustainability in the MENA Leisure Industry

February 29, 2024

The MENA leisure and entertainment sector is expected to welcome around 250 million visitors by 2028, contributing $14 billion to the region’s economy, as estimated by Redseer.

[February 2024, Dubai, UAE]: Recent investments have fuelled the opening of new parks and enhancement of existing ones in the MENA region. Billions of dollars are being invested to add more excitement to an already dynamic industry. It is estimated that Public Investment Fund-owned Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) are committed to invest $13 billion to build 21 entertainment destinations spread across multiple cities in the Kingdom. The MENA leisure and entertainment players have many reasons to rejoice as tailwinds continue to drive the industry forward with consumer spending on amusement, set to touch $474 million by 2024 (source: IAAPA)

Against this backdrop, the Middle East and North Africa Leisure & Attractions Council (MENALAC) gears up for its annual Leisure Entertainment & Attractions (LEA) Conferences.

The much-anticipated LEA CEO Conclave, scheduled on March 4, 2024, at Taj Dubai in Business Bay will delve into several discussions covering topics such as enhancing guest experiences with immersive environments, the rise of sports-based leisure, and competitive socializing venues in the region, managing seasonality and fluctuations in demand for attractions in the MENA region, building brand loyalty in today’s competitive leisure landscape, and exploring the world of leadership and mentorships, among other relevant subjects. Like past years, waterparks will feature prominently in numerous sessions, reinforcing their status as a focal point of discussions.

Interestingly, one of the highlights of the upcoming LEA conference will be the compelling narrative of Harry AH Amos, one of the headline speakers. He will share insights on overcoming obstacles, therein imparting leadership lessons, and providing glimpses into the realm of marine conservation efforts.

Like every edition, this year too eminent names from the regional leisure and entertainment industry will convene at the LEA conference. Some names include: Damien Latham, Chief Attractions Officer,

SEVEN; Julien Kauffmann, Chief Executive Officer, MIRAL Experiences; Mark Haak Wegmann, Prakash Vivekanand, Managing Director, Amusement Services International LLC, Mr. Mohammed Attia, CEO, Abdulla Alothaim Entertainment Co., Silvio Liedtke, Vice President – MENALAC & Chief Executive Officer, Landmark Leisure, Ms. Shifa Yusuffali, CEO, Ideacrate Edutainment and Mr. Daniel Schoppen, VP Design & Development, Intamin Amusement Rides with other prominent speakers.

“Seven years ago, we started the LEA Conferences as an endeavour to bring together peers from the industry to share knowledge, best practices and learnings to redefine the MENA leisure and entertainment landscape with unique, immersive, cutting-edge and above all memorable experiences. Since then, the conference has not only grown in size and reputation but has managed to touch upon areas that truly matter for our businesses while also meaningfully diversifying the MENA region’s entertainment economy,” stated Silvio Liedtke, Vice President – MENALAC & Chief Executive Officer, Landmark Leisure

The LEA Health, Safety, and Sustainability Day, now renamed to embrace a wider perspective, is scheduled on March 5, 2024, at DWTC, and will address the paramount aspects of Health, Safety, and Sustainability, underscoring its commitment to guest safety and industry well-being. As the industry continues to evolve, the conference raises awareness about the latest safety standards, sustainable practices, and the critical intersection of health and the environment within the leisure and attractions sector and the profound impact of these elements on safe industry operations. It aims to elevate standards and inspire excellence in the MENA Leisure and Entertainment industry.

With key sessions on “Collaborating for Success: Unveiling the Power of Collaboration in Rides and Attraction Safety.” delegates will hear from Industry-leading specialists across a wide range of technical disciplines.  In addition, an important panel session on “The Legacy of COP28” will acquire centre stage at the conference, in alignment with the UAE’s recent extension of the ‘Year of Sustainability’ into 2024, with heightened emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG). Embracing Cutting-Edge Training Innovations to Create a Competent and Confident Leisure and Entertainment Workforce will be a pivotal focus area along with sessions on the criticality of managing work and height in scenarios unique to our industry. The conference will also recognize and celebrate attractions making strides in improving accessibility and inclusivity.

The impressive speaker line-up for LEA HSS Conference include: James Falchetto, CEO, Traks Pro; Peter Stubbs, Director HSE, MAF Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas; Farah Naz – AECOM – Author: Mission Zero, Net Zero City | Climate Change    Strategist| City Innovation Advisor| Director of ESG & Innovation AECOM; Alex Schrott, Head of Waterparks – Global, Head of Amusement Parks, Rides & Structures – Middle East, TUV SUD; Chris Napiers, Safety, Compliance and Competence Director, Mellors Entertainment; Jason Woods, Regional Manager Middle East and South Asia, IPAF amongst other speakers.

Commenting on the Health, Safety and Sustainability Conference,  Peter Stubbs, Chairperson MENALAC HSE Committee and Director of HSE, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas said,As representatives of the leading leisure and attractions industry within the region, it is our collective responsibility to embed the foundations of health, safety, and sustainability, and the MENALAC Health, Safety & Sustainability Day serves as a beacon, guiding us toward a future where our industry not only excels but also shows social responsibility to all of its stakeholders. It’s not just an event; it’s a commitment to excellence.

The MENALAC LEA Conferences continues to enjoy robust support from industry leaders such as Play Enterprises, DEAL Expo 2024, Ideacrate Entertainment Company, VIVATICKET, SEMNOX, TUVSUD, WTI, IPAF, and TRAKSPRO among others.

To register for the conference, please visit MENALAC website: https://www.menalac.org/product/menalac-l-e-a-conference-u-a-e/