General Authority of Sports, NBA, Saudi Sports For All, Mubadala, Spinneys at 2023 Sport Industry Forum

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  • Shaima Al Husseini, CEO, Saudi Sports For All Federation, speaking at the 2022 Sport Industry Forum.

    Senior sport business execs from the Middle East and beyond are set to connect at the 2023 Sport Industry Forum.

    Established in 2014, this high-level sport business forum brings decision makers together to advance the sports sector in the region.

    The forum is an opportunity for sport business professionals to listen to inspirational speakers – international and regional. It provides an invaluable opportunity to do business.

    The Forum is held alongside the NBA Abu Dhabi Games and is officially supported by Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

    Held at The WB Abu Dhabi by Hilton on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on October 4-5, more than 200 senior-level attendees are expected from government, brands, federations, clubs, rights holders, event organisers and venues owners/operators.

    A highlight this year is H.E. Sheikh Suhail Bin Butti Suhail Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at the General Authority of Sports, who will present the UAE’s national sports strategy at the Sport Industry Forum 2023.

    Speeches and interviews take place throughout the two days from the likes of Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, Minnesota Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson, Saudi Sports For All Federation CEO Shaima Al Husseini and Executive Director Community Health Sector – Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre H.E Dr. Omniyat Mohammed Al Hajeri, among many others.

    Registration is still open at Attendance is free for government, federations, clubs and brands, with separate packages on offer to rights holders/agencies and vendors/suppliers.

    Sport360 spoke to Sally Corander – Founder of INTERACT, organisers of Sport Industry Forum – about next month’s edition.

    Q: What is the Sport Industry Forum and why was it launched?

    Corander: “The Sport Industry Forum was established in the UAE. We launched it in 2014 with the support of Dubai Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

    “There weren’t many conferences in the region at that time and so we saw the opportunity to launch a forum that was relevant to the challenges in sports in the region. Our aim was, and still is, to advance the sports sector in the UAE and across the region. It’s wonderful to see such incredible growth in sports in the last 9 years and very exciting times ahead.”

    Q: What is the mission for Sport Industry Forum?

    Corander: “The mission is to drive positive change. We pride ourselves on our content being hugely relevant to the region.

    “We are based in the region and understand the industry challenges which may be unique to other countries.

    “The Forums encourage open-and-honest debate and attendees are very much encouraged to get involved in the discussions. We summarise the main points from the 2 days of discussion and we feedback to government after the event.”

    Q: Please tell us about the line-up for 2023’s edition

    Corander: “We’ve got an amazing line-up of speakers for 2023’s edition.

    “We are absolutely delighted to have an exclusive presentation and interview with HE Sheikh Suhail Al Maktoum from the General Authority of Sports who will present the UAE sports strategy.

    “Following HE Sheikh Suhail’s session, we have senior Government representatives from education and health; H.E. Mohammed Al Hashimi, Executive Director – Student Wellbeing Sector, Emirates Schools Establishment and H.E. Dr. Omniyat Mohammed Al Hajri, Executive Director – Community Health Sector, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Vice Chairwoman, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Academy

    “The forum is alongside the NBA Abu Dhabi Games and both CEOs from the franchises are speaking. They will take part in unfiltered interviews telling their remarkable stories – from how their early life shaped their careers, overcoming adversity, the importance of workplace culture, to growing women’s sport and the biggest lessons they learned in business.

    “A delegation of NBA executives and sponsors will be joining us.

    “We have speakers from Saudi; Saudi Sports For All Federation’s CEO, Shaima Al Husseini and Saudi Triathlon, Chairman, Eng. Ali Samih Magboul. Regional brands are represented including Mubadala, Etihad and Spinneys – they will talk about why they invest in sport and what their strategy is for the future.

    “And we have a featured interview with former Man Utd footballer, Dwight Yorke, aka the smiling assassin. Winner of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and League Cup.

    “Chris Brown, Founder and CEO of the Mina Cup UAE, Gareth Mordey, General Manager EnrichME at Cognita Schools and Mags Byrne, former CEO of Sunderland FC and MD of EStars will get the conversation going on how to best engage the next generation in sport and physical activity on their panel.

    “There is a lot of content and lots of passionate sports business professionals attending. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and having some great discussions!

    “Business development is hard work and securing meetings with potential clients is not easy.  The Forum makes this enjoyable!

    “It’s a meeting place for the sports industry, for participants to be inspired but to also meet the right people and do business.”

    To register, visit

    Sport Industry Forum 2023 partners include: Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, DCD Abu Dhabi, Ethara, Musco Lighting, Qantara Sports, CSM Live, Cruyff Institute, Flair Event Services, Sport360