Tariq Al-Essa is the CEO of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB). As CEO, he is tasked with developing and implementing efficient and transparent licensing policies with the goal of encouraging investments in the Kingdom’s exhibition and convention sector by providing suitable options for the organization of large, high-quality events.
Speaking at a recent conference in Riyadh, Al-Essa discussed the growth of the Saudi meetings industry in comparison to neighbors such as the UAE, specifically the potential in cities such as Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province.
“In terms of numbers of business events or the size of industry, Saudi demand and supply on the meetings industry is much bigger and stable with high potential powered by Saudi Vision 2030,” he said.
In 2002, after completing his bachelor of science degree in systems engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Al-Essa earned his professional diploma in business administration from Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004.
Al-Essa then gained work experience as a researcher with the National Tourism and Information and Research Center, as well as a part-time instructor at Al-Yamamah University teaching elective courses in “Principles of Event Management.”
In 2008, Al-Essa continued his higher education at the University of Technology, Sydney, earning his graduate diploma as well as his masters in event management by 2011.
Before becoming executive director at SECB, Al-Essa worked at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage from 2005 to 2013 in the department of product development as a senior tourism and programs specialist.
Since 2013, he has been actively leading the promoting of the Kingdom as a viable host for regional and international exhibitions and conventions.