Boosting Riyadh's Creative Ascent: How the Creative Industry Summit Bridges the Steps
Posted on 2023 Nov,20  | By ArabAd's staff

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Creativity in Saudi Arabia is witnessing an unrivaled ascent. As one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world, the country realizes that creativity and innovation are essential pillars of a successful one. Those pillars, however, need consistent connectedness and nurturing. This is, precisely, where we see the Creative Industry Summit has positioned itself — and with great promise!

In the heart of Riyadh, the echoes of creativity reverberated from October 30th to November 1st, 2023, as the Creative Industry Summit (C-S) launched its inaugural edition of the Advertising and Creativity Forum in Saudi Arabia. 

This marked the organization's initial stride into a pivotal role, mirroring the success it has meticulously crafted over nearly a decade in Egypt – a narrative it's well acquainted with. 

This first-of-its-kind event marked not only a significant milestone for C-S — known for being the trailblazers behind many “firsts” in the region’s creative economy — but also a monumental leap for the flourishing creative economy of the Kingdom. 

As we explore the reverberations of this gathering, we set the stage for what promises to be an even grander celebration of creativity in April 2024!


Setting the Runway

With a resounding 2600+ participants, the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center became the nucleus of innovation and ideation. 

The forum's agenda, curated across six inspirational tracks included Web3, Advertising, Media, Art, Marketing, Digital, and Content Creation — catering to the diverse facets of the global creative economy.

The collaborative efforts of C-S, in partnership with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, manifested in 46+ speakers, 16 panel discussions, 7 workshops, and 24 exhibitions. Visionaries from Egypt and Saudi Arabia united under the common goal of fostering creativity, creating an environment where ideas could flourish and innovations could be born.


The Driving Vision

Mai Salama, Founding Partner of Creative Industry Summit, shared her insights on why Riyadh was chosen for this momentous occasion. "We chose our first regional edition to be in Riyadh because we were impressed with how the creative industry in is thriving in Saudi. We've witnessed an evolution in the marketing strategies in the Saudi ecosystem, and a lot of it was incredibly creative and frankly, impressive."


A Speaker From Every Corner of the Creative Economy

The forum boasted a stellar lineup of speakers, each a luminary in their respective fields. From Tarek Nour, founder & CEO of Tarek Nour Communications, to Noura Binsaidan, a Saudi muralist and founder of NS for Art, the stage was graced by influential figures whose contributions have shaped the landscape of creativity in the Middle East.

Ali Ali, film director and co-founder of Good People Films, shared his insights into the world of commercial direction, while Amr El Kalaawy, Managing Director at FP7/CAI, discussed the transformation of media and advertising over the past 15 years. 

The stage also resonated with the soulful tunes of Ayed Youssef Al Qarni, a leading singer from the GCC, adding a musical dimension to the creative tapestry.


Statistics Speak Volumes

The success of the first Advertising and Creativity Forum wasn't just measured in applause and inspiration; the numbers told a compelling story. With over 2600 participants immersing themselves in 16 panel discussions and 7 workshops, the forum surpassed expectations. 

The exhibition space served as an interactive and visual feast, showcasing the vibrant creativity at the intersection of Saudi and Egyptian talent. It was a testament to the dynamic synergy and innovative spirit that permeated the event.


C-S: A Decade of Dedication

The journey of the Creative Industry Summit began in 2014 in Egypt, with a dream to elevate the creative industry. Over 14 editions, C-S has left an indelible mark on Egypt's creative landscape. 

Expanding into Saudi Arabia signifies more than a geographic leap; it represents a commitment to fostering creativity across borders.


Looking Ahead to April 2024

The triumph of the Advertising and Creativity Forum serves as a prelude to an even grander spectacle set to unfold in April 2024. C-S promises a festival that delves deeper into the Creative Economy, connecting creative minds from the Middle East and around the world. The anticipation is palpable, as the echoes of Riyadh's success resonate globally.


The Essence of C-S

C-S, the region's premier Creative Economy platform, is defined by its steadfast dedication to nurturing and celebrating human creativity. The pinnacle of this commitment is the Annual Festival in Cairo, catering to diverse audiences, from students to CEOs, for enriching experiences.

Featuring globally renowned figures like Akram Miknas and Sir Martin Sorrell, C-S has grown significantly. Beyond flagship events, the Creative Industry Summit has introduced initiatives like C-S Studio, She Strikes, Networking Nights, University Pop-Ups, and Workshops, fostering the growth of creative minds driving the Middle East's Creative Economy.

In April 2023, the Creative Industry Summit marked Ramadan with the inaugural 'People’s Choice Ramadan Awards,' a pioneering ceremony recognizing excellence in seasonal advertisements and series.

As we turn the pages of this special edition celebrating creativity in Saudi Arabia, let the tale of the Creative Industry Summit's triumph in Riyadh be an ode to the power of collaboration and the boundless possibilities that creativity unlocks. 

The April 2024 Riyadh festival is coming soon and promises to be a crescendo of inspiration, innovation, and the unbridled celebration of the Creative Economy. Save the date, for Riyadh is poised to become the global stage where creativity knows no bounds.