Exclusive Entertainment Fever meets growing demand for live entertainment in Gulf By Andy Sambidge February 16, 2023 Fever Fever has brought live entertainment such as the Candlelight Concert series to the UAE UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar offer expansion opportunitiesPlans to bring hits like Harry Potter: The Forbidden Forest to the region Fever, the live entertainment platform, is planning to expand across the Middle East after making its debut in Dubai. The company, headquartered in New York, is targeting growth in the region after raising $227 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs last year. It reached unicorn status with a billion-dollar valuation. Rachid Laurent Elameri, general manager Middle East, Fever, told AGBI: “Fever arrived in Dubai just a year ago, and we’ve already expanded to other cities such as Abu Dhabi. Our vision to democratise access to culture and entertainment will result in expansion across the Middle East in the near future.” UAE’s centre stage in Bollywood blockbustersMiddle East on a roll as fastest growing theme park market The company offers entertainment such as the Candlelight Concerts series, InClassica international music festival and Dining in the Dark: Murder Mystery events. Its platform also showcases live-entertainment venues in the UAE, such as Global Village, Ski Dubai, Green Planet and IMG World of Adventure. Elameri said Saudi Arabia was an exciting market for Fever’s growth, with the kingdom’s booming entertainment sector playing a key role in its Vision 2030 diversification ambitions. Rachid Laurent Elameri, Fever’s Middle East general manager. Picture: Supplied “The country’s entertainment sector is projected to expand by 9 percent annually through 2028,” he said. “Fever’s offering will help satisfy demand while bringing a new element of entertainment to its people.” Saudi Arabia wants to ensure its entertainment industry makes up 5 percent of GDP by 2026 while creating 16,000 jobs. It recently launched its Events Investment Fund (EIF), which aims to develop more than 35 venues by 2030. “With the support of the EIF, indoor arenas, galleries, conference centres and theatres will be developed to ensure the kingdom meets its target of attracting 100 million visitors by 2030,” said Elameri. Fever, which has grown its turnover 10-fold since 2019, plans to bring some of its biggest hits to the Middle East. These include Harry Potter: The Forbidden Forest, Stranger Things: the Experience, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Jurassic World: The Exhibition and The Friends Experience. Harry Potter: The Forbidden Forest and Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Pictures: Fever Elameri said Qatar also offers potential as, since its successful 2010 bid to host the World Cup, it has spent more than $200 billion in building infrastructure including entertainment-related activities. He said the UAE shows promise for development as its leisure and entertainment sector is set to expand by 9.7 percent annually through to 2027. Unique destinations such as the Museum of Future, which opened last February, continue to be launched. Elameri said: “The UAE has done a tremendous job of upping the bar in several areas of the country’s growth, and its entertainment sector has begun receiving a greater level of recognition.” Fever was launched in 2014 and is now present in more than 100 cities around the world. It has nearly doubled the size of its workforce over the past year to more than 1,200.