In Conversation with Ethara’s CEO Saif Al Noami


We are in it to win it! Building entertainment empires excites and thrills us, and were a looking to take the events and entertainment industry in both the Middle East region and globally to the next level.

Leveraging the reputation, expertise and legacy of Ethara, we have a clear mission – to create ‘moments that matter’. We believe in creating thrilling experiences that leave a lasting impact for fans, both locally and for those who travel to this region from around the world. Our vision for the future goes beyond our world-class events – we aim to craft experiences that redefine today.

Our major advantage over other event companies in the industry is our capability and versatility to host a wide variety of events and experiences, due to our portfolio of some of the region’s most iconic event venues, including Yas Marina Circuit, Etihad Park, Etihad Arena, and Yas Conference Centre. These extraordinary spaces enable us to create world-class events and experiences that are simply unmatched, and we continue to grow with our recently opened Dubai and Riyadh offices to serve the region.

Our Innovation Team drives our thinking through planning and strategy, keeping us at the forefront of industry trends and technologies.

We take environmental sustainability and social responsibility very seriously across all levels of the business in a drive to align with the UAE’s 2031 vision and National Climate Change Plan. Yas Marina Circuit achieved its FIA Three-Star Certification in 2021 for our commitment to sustainability, and we signed a pledge with the United Nations Sports For Climate Action in 2022 as we continue our efforts in this area as part of Net Zero Carbon by 2030. As part of these efforts, we have recently introduced a more efficient, sustainable LED lighting infrastructure across Yas Marina Circuit which, in addition to being sustainable, offers a versatile lighting configuration for events.

Our community initiatives, including the Yas in Schools National Programme which supports STEM-based learning, having reached record levels in 2023, with more than 1,000 students taking part in June’s National Finals. We were also recently ISO certified following an audit of our activities for Sustainable Event Management Systems and Environmental Management of Venues.

We contribute significantly to the local economy through the 300+ strong team of professionals we employ, international talent we bring here both to work and perform & the local and international audiences we attract to our events. Our focus remains on bringing the world’s best sporting and entertainment events here to Abu Dhabi and the UAE, but with our offices located in Dubai and Riyadh, we are naturally looking to expand our reach.

With the increase of interest from major international individuals and brands to have an active presence in the Middle East – including recent arrivals to the region from UFC, NBA, WSX, Disney on Ice, and a number of interesting developments across the GCC, we are well positioned to support this and look forward to working on the unique opportunities that this will bring.

This year will be our 15th edition of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and it has been our most in-demand event to date meaning it will also be our largest ever edition. With a majority of our ticket options selling out within weeks of going on sale, the focus now is firmly on ensuring that we deliver an incredible experience for the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Yas Island in November and add value wherever we can. With increased scale, we have also increased our efforts to reduce our environmental impact meaning this year’s Abu Dhabi GP will also be the most sustainable in our 15-year history. F1 has become the most in-demand sport in the world, and has attracted an influx of a younger audience who are always looking for new experiences.

During the 2022 race weekend in Abu Dhabi, 70% of fans at Yas Marina Circuit travelled from overseas, which demonstrates the demand from F1’s international fanbase to be present at the season finale here in Abu Dhabi.

Our established Yasalam After-Race Concerts, featuring some of the world’s biggest music acts, provides our local and international fanbase with an incredible weekend of live music. As we continue our focus on being a truly destination-focused event, we have added access to a variety of entertainment and cultural attractions including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Watan, and Yas Island’s world-class theme parks – all in one ticket. This approach strives to add value to ticketholders, while supporting the local economy by extending visitor stays for the destination.

The teams across event delivery and venue management are hard at work as we count down to a busy season to end this year. With exciting performances from the likes of Amr Diab, Charlie Puth, Robbie Williams, Tiesto, Ava Max, the Foo Fighters, and Disney on Ice before major sporting events including the WSX Abu Dhabi GP, and Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and collaborations with DCT Abu Dhabi on the delivery of the International Basketball Week and USA Basketball Showcase games, NBA Abu Dhabi Games presented by ADQ and Abu Dhabi Showdown Week to name a few – it’s set to be a thrilling few months ahead.