Saudi inks 14 deals at Jeddah Grand Prix in boost to sports industry 

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The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah ended on Sunday with victory for Sergio Perez over reigning world champion and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. But many agreements were also signed at the global event to expand the kingdom’s rapidly developing sports industry.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (MISA) has signed 14 investment agreements in the country’s sports, entertainment and construction sectors, according to state news agency SPA.

The agreements were signed as part of a comprehensive sponsorship program hosted by Invest Saudi, the kingdom’s investment promotion entity. The value of the deals was not disclosed.

Twelve of the agreements were signed with sports companies across different disciplines, in line with the country’s Vision 2030 national development strategy which includes an increase in community sports activities together with viable sports industries in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia plans to invest $2 billion in sports by 2024, and the non-oil sector is expected to contribute at least $22 billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2030, according to SPA.

New partnerships following the Jeddah Grand Prix include deals with Saudi Arabian sports car manufacturers VeloceLife and the UK-based Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) to open a manufacturing facility for BAC sports cars in the kingdom.

UK gym operator PureGym Group has signed an agreement to expand its gym and fitness facilities, along with Seedorf Group to establish sports academies and support medical clinics.

World motorsport team Meritus.GP Formula 4 will start a number of Formula 4 academies with the aim of hosting future championships in the kingdom.

Invest Sport, MISA’s investment accelerator, hosted workshops with Autosport Asia Action Group CEO Peter Thompson; VeloceLife CEO, Faisal bin Laden; and MISA Sports Sector Manager Basim Ibrahim, to highlight the investment potential of Saudi Arabia’s rapidly expanding sports industry.

In January, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a new investment fund to support infrastructure related to sports, tourism, and more. The fund plans to finance more than 35 venues by 2030 which will include indoor arenas, horse and car racing tracks.

Diriyah hosted a high-profile boxing event last month with British boxer Tommy Fury and American social media mogul Jake Paul as prize fighters.

In January, the Spanish Super Cup was held in the historic district of Diriyah, and in October it was announced that the kingdom would host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at the luxury mountain destination of Trojena at the giga-city of NEOM.

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