The Saudi Arabian giga-project of NEOM is aiming to be the focal point of the region’s esports scene after signing a memorandum of understanding with SAFEIS (Saudi Arabian Federation) of Electronic and Intellectual Sports.

NEOM, an ambitious new $500 billion region being built in the Kingdom, has already outlined its ambition to be an adventure sports hub and the “healthiest city in the world” – with a target to attract one million residents and 5 million tourists by 2030. 

Now, esports too is in NEOM’s crosshairs with the SAFEIS agreement opening the door for a range of collaborations and initiatives designed to boost its tourism industry through the promotion and support of esports.

Saudi Arabia has already put significant resources into its burgeoning esports industry, with the creation of SAFEIS to serve the 21 percent of the population who participate in online gaming weekly.

HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, president of SAFEIS, said: “NEOM has the potential to be a global leader in esports and the federation is committed to be its partner in this ambitious journey. NEOM is the land of the future and SAFEIS is the gateway to the generation and the sport of the future.”

NEOM Managing Director of Sports Jan Paterson added: “We are pleased to partner with SAFEIS because esports are an integral part of the NEOM offering as it reflects our ambition to become the leading destination for the youth who are the majority of esports.”