JEDDAH: Under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the second Makkah Region Economic Forum (MREF) kicks off on Saturday at Jabal Omar Hotel.
The four-day event is organized by the Makkah governorate and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Makkah and Taif chambers of commerce and industry.
Under the title “The Road to an Urban Future: Invest in Makkah,” this year’s edition will focus on four main topics: Urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation in Hajj and Umrah.
The MREF will also shed light on unique new investment opportunities in the Makkah region.
Hisham Al-Falih, head of the forum’s executive committee, said the MREF aims to encourage local and international business investments in the region’s development projects.
“The main themes to be discussed at this year’s edition … are designed to integrate with the economic issues that were discussed during the meetings of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, which was held in January,” he said.
Some of this year’s topics will be highlighted at next year’s G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, he added.
The main topics of the MREF’s panel discussions will include housing, hospitality, business development, and development of the Makkah region’s unplanned neighborhoods.
Last year’s edition offered investment opportunities worth more than SR280 million ($74.6 million) and attracted nearly 7,500 people, paving the way for major investment projects in the region.
The first MREF saw the participation in panel discussions of eight ministers, a group of economic leaders and VIPs from around the world.