OVG & Ethara Form Joint Venture In The Middle East

Formula 1 2022: Abu Dhabi GP
Aerial short of Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with Etihad Arena taking center stage. The building is operated by Ethara, which just entered into a joint venture with OVG. (Photo by Gareth Harford / Motorsport Images Photographer)

Global arena developer (and Pollstar’s parent company) Oak View Group (OVG), and Abu Dhabi-based event management and venue operator Ethara, have announced a joint venture.

It mark OVG’s expansion into the Middle East, “one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for live entertainment,” according to a press release announcing the JV with Ethara.

See: Middle East Focus 2023

Ethara, which means “thrill” in Arabic, was born out of two pioneering industry leaders in the Middle East: Flash Entertainment, and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM). The company promotes events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yasalam After-Race Concerts, and many other world-class sport, music, cultural, and entertainment events.

Ethara operates venues in the United Arab Emirates, including Etihad Arena, Etihad Park, Yas Marina Circuit, and Yas Conference Centre. The team’s detailed knowledge of the local markets will enable OVG and Ethara “to explore significant growth opportunities together across the Middle East.”

Tim Leiweke CEO Oak View Group
Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group.

The new joint venture will see Ethara working closely together with Rhubarb Hospitality Collection (RHC), the British venue caterer recently acquired by OVG, “to improve the fan experience by delivering exceptional food, beverage, and hospitality services at live entertainment venues across the Middle East, including in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia,” the press release states.

Tim Leiweke, Chief Executive Officer, Oak View Group, said, “The Middle East is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and live entertainment markets, so our new offering in the region is a natural step for OVG to take. The pace of change in the region, with major global events like the Dubai Expo and Qatar World Cup, makes it one of the most exciting places in the world to operate in right now. We are confident that working with our partner Ethara, OVG will emulate our success across North America and Europe in the Middle East.”

Saif Rashid Al Noaimi CEO Ethara
Saif Rashid Al Noaimi, CEO, Ethara

Saif Rashid Al Noaimi, Chief Executive Officer, Ethara, commented, “It is a proud moment to announce this joint venture with our new partner, OVG as we continue to expand our capabilities and impact across the region as the leading event management and venue operator in the Middle East. The significant growth in our region now includes regularly hosting the world’s biggest events. There is increasing demand for world-class venues with first-class hospitality to serve these events and provide unforgettable experiences for fans. This partnership with OVG will allow us to continue to innovate in this space and continue to bring exciting new events and opportunities to the market.”

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