Riyadh hosts Automechanika 2018

An automobile exhibition in Riyadh.
Updated 03 January 2018
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Riyadh hosts Automechanika 2018

The expected influx of Saudi drivers from 2018 will have a significant impact on the auto parts, maintenance and services industry, with manufacturers and suppliers advised to stake their claim early in a market full of new opportunities, the chief of the Kingdom’s only dedicated aftermarket trade show said.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “The decision to allow women to drive from June 2018, along with other recent economic initiatives, bodes well for many industries, however, the Kingdom’s automotive aftermarket is among those that could benefit the most.
“Saudi already has more than 7 million passenger vehicles in operation, and this will increase significantly in the coming years, with potentially 9 million new drivers added to the roads.”
He said: “Automakers will be the first to benefit, along with banks and insurance companies that finance and underwrite new car purchases, however, the aftermarket comes next when these millions of additional cars require regular repair and maintenance, replacement parts, tires, batteries, accessories, car care and grooming.”
Pauwels comments come ahead of the inaugural edition of Automechanika Riyadh, the largest dedicated trade show for Saudi’s aftermarket in the Kingdom’s Eastern and Central provinces.
The biennial three-day event takes place from Feb. 5-7 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, and will feature more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries.
“Revenues for Saudi’s aftermarket, including tires, batteries, lubricants, and other engine components and accessories, were worth more than $6.7 billion in 2016, so it’s already a significant market, and the largest in the Middle East,” he said.
Other headline exhibitors at the event include Dubai-based Mineral Circles Bearings (MCB), Japan Toyomoto, American headquartered Donaldson, Germany’s ZF Services, and Spain’s Blinker. The event will also feature country pavilions from Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and China.
The event is the 17th global instalment of Automechanika, the world’s most successful automotive aftermarket trade fair brand.
Hadi Al-Harith, CEO of Ace Group, said: “It gives us great pleasure to continue our association with Messe Frankfurt Middle East and extend the reach of the Automechanika brand into Saudi’s Central and Eastern regions.
“Saudi decision to allow women to take to the wheel in the Kingdom is a good news for aftermarket stakeholders, and will add to the buzz on Automechanika Riyadh’s show.”


ISF willing to bring five-a-side football world cup to Kingdom

Updated 18 September 2018
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ISF willing to bring five-a-side football world cup to Kingdom

Leisure Leagues (LL), the organizer of the first five-a-side football in Lisbon this year, says it will hold talks with Saudi sports authorities to bring the ISF (International Soccer Federation) world cup to the Kingdom next year.

Speaking to Arab News, Shahzaib Mehmood Trunkwala, vice president of ISF and president of the group that owns Leisure Leagues Pakistan (LLP), said: “The mega event will boost small-sided football in the Kingdom and South Asia through exchanging Saudi and foreign players onto different teams.”

Trunkwala said the forthcoming ISF world cup in Lisbon has won global attention as a large number of football fans are traveling to Portugal.

He said the Trunkwala family has been mentoring youth and promoting a healthier Pakistan for decades. The family plans to bring the Argentine football star Lionel Messi over next year.

“There have been talks between Leisure Leagues and Messi, and it is likely that Pakistani fans will see the world’s greatest star play here next year,” he said, adding that Messi has expressed his desire to bring two teams to play matches in Pakistan.

Last year, the LLP brought several international football players, including Brazilian star Ronaldinho and the Welsh ex-Manchester United ace Ryan Giggs to Pakistan.

The ISF organizes international small-sided football competitions for both national and club teams in the formats of five, six, seven and eight-a-side football.

Founded in 2017 by national operators of five and six-a-side football leagues across Europe and Asia, ISF brings together the expertise of the industry’s leaders to launch the most exciting international small-sided football tournaments in locations across the world.

Any national level organization which runs five, six, seven or eight-a-side football leagues is eligible to register to join the ISF and gain the license to run their national team. Once registered and approved, the licensee becomes the exclusive operator of their country’s national team and the only organization eligible to represent their country in ISF world or continental championships.

The first Socca6 World Cup will take place in 2018 and players wishing to play for their national team can apply online via the national team page for their country. Continental championships will take place from 2019.