From left: Steve Mackie (moderator), Warren Gregson, Mohamed Elrayess, Dr Philip Graham Smith and Migue Heitor, attending a panel discussion on Impact of Smart Tracking and Analysis Performance at the Arab SportTech Forum at the Sports Accelerator, Aspire Zone. Pic: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula
The first Arab SportsTech Forum was held on Thursday at the Sports Accelerator district at Aspire Zone. During the one-day meet, industry experts discussed ways to promote technology in sports while highlighting the significant strides already made.
The event was supported by Aspire Zone Foundation, Qatar Financial Centre, Qatar SportsTech and LaLiga Tech.
With Qatar’s position as a leading sports capital and a growing centre for sports technology, the event comes at a crucial time — coinciding with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which is less than two months away, and considerable government investment in the sports industry.
Speaking at the event, Malik Shishtawi, CEO of Mangusteen, the organising company of the Forum and Founder Arab SportsTech Forum, said, “Arab Sports Tech Forum 2022 Qatar is a platform for key players and leaders from the Sports Tech, eSports and Sports generally in Qatar and the world to discuss the latest trends and solutions in the industry.
“We want to show the value of sportstech and esports industry. Many people know the value of sports but don’t really know how technology can empower the sport.”
Shishtawi highlighted Qatar’s groundbreaking research, which found a solution to protecting the ancient tradition of camel racing by introducing robot riders to replace children in the sport.
Laila Al Jefairi, Vice-President, Business Development at Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), highlighted the potential of the sports industry in Qatar and the broader Middle East. She noted QFC’s contribution to facilitating growth in this sector.
“Naturally, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has fuelled our ambitions and dreams for over a decade. With a $200bn investment in infrastructure projects, this mega event will set a lasting legacy to sports for Qatar and the region. We have hosted over 500 international sporting events. Today, Qatar has a $20bn sports ecosystem and has long been a hub for international sporting excellence,” Al Jefairi said.
More than 14 speakers and experts participated in panel sessions during the Forum. The presentations covered multiple topics, including the impact of smart tracking and analysis on the performance of athletes, startups in the sports technology sector, opportunities and challenges, rethinking investment in sportstech and esports, and the next generation of fans engagement.
It is worth noting that the Global Sports Technology Market size is expected to reach $48.7 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 16.8% CAGR during the forecast period.