(MENAFN - Arab News) A senior official at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the significance of tapping vast investment opportunities in the Kingdom's sports sector. Muhiyaddin Hakami, assistant secretary general of the chamber, said the chamber has taken an initiative to explore the avenues of cooperation with a number of sports clubs with regard to pumping private investments into this vital sector. He made the remarks while leading the chamber's delegation during its visit to the Football Academy of Al-Ahli Club, Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Academy for the Youngsters and Al-Ittihad Club on Tuesday. The chamber's delegation also included Khaled Sabir, director of activities and committees, Mubarak Al-Siraj, director of business services, and Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, head of the sports investment committee.
During the meeting, the delegation members and prominent sports officials shared the view that Saudi Arabia is among the countries with least private investments in the sports sector. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, head of the sports investment committee at the chamber, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia is still nascent in tapping private investments in the sports sector. "Even though private investments play a major role in the development of sports and have become a big source of revenue all over the world, the volume of private investments in the Kingdom's sports sector was merely above SR1 billion during the year 2010," he said.
On his part, Hassan Ali Nagoor, member of the board of directors of Al-Hilal Club, said several local banks have recently come forward to make investments in the sports sector. "The volume of investments in this sector over the past four decades exceeded SR55 billion, of which SR40 billion came from government funding," he said. There are 153 sports clubs registered with the Youth Welfare Presidency in the Kingdom.