The UAE-based event management company Ethara and US-based Oak View Group (OVG) have announced a joint venture, enabling the US-based arena developer’s expansion into the Middle East, in a bid to transform the live entertainment and hospitality sectors in the region.

The launch of the partnership follows OVG’s recent acquisition of leading British venue caterer Rhubarb Hospitality Collection (RHC). The new joint venture will see both the RHC and Ethara working closely together to improve the fan experience by delivering food, beverage, and hospitality services at live entertainment venues across the Middle East, including the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Ethara promotes events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yasalam After-Race Concerts, and operates venues in the UAE, including the Etihad Arena, Etihad Park, Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Conference Centre. 

OVG currently has nine major new arenas across North America and Europe either already open or under development with its OVG 360 brand, which operates the company’s venue management business, servicing more than 300 arenas, stadiums, and convention centres worldwide. 

The Middle East and Africa live events industry is projected to reach $76.67 billion by 2028, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% from 2021 to 2028, according to Research and Markets.

The region has already played host to a series of high-profile events in the recent past such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and last year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, along with live concerts featuring the likes of Beyonce, Madonna and Coldplay. 

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)