Cityneon Holdings, a global entertainment company based in Singapore that specialises in unique, immersive, and large-scale experiences, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to establish a facility at Qatar Free Zones.
The facility will cater to growing entertainment technology and experience markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
The agreement was signed by QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui and Cityneon general manager – Middle East Feroz Siddiqui in the presence of HE the Minister of State and QFZA chairman Ahmad al-Sayed, HE Qatar Airways Group chief executive and secretary-general of Qatar Tourism Akbar al-Baker, and Singaporean ambassador Jai S Sohan, as well as QFZA senior management. Cityneon’s senior management team, including executive chairman and Group CEO Ron Tan joined virtually from Singapore.
Cityneon’s new facility will be built across 15,000sq m in Ras Bufontas Free Zone and will include an international experience and entertainment technology centre, an innovation lab focused on R&D in animatronics and robotics, and a large-scale production workshop.
Cityneon will produce large-scale experiences in Qatar as they have done around the world, such as their Jurassic World exhibition in Chengdu, China, and Avengers exhibition in Las Vegas.
Hui said: “We are delighted to welcome Cityneon, a leading entertainment technology company that designs and manufactures equipment and robotics for the sector. Cityneon’s decision to open its first facility in the Middle East at Qatar Free Zones is a testament to the strength of our offering and the exciting trajectory of the entertainment technology industry and the tourism sector in Qatar and across the region, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. Qatar Free Zones provide an ideal environment for international and local companies with the skills and innovation to help build a better future.”
Tan said: “We are pleased to be working closely with QFZA to fast-track our expansion plans in the EMEA region, which is a strategic and important market for the company. We see immense potential for our IP business in the EMEA region and the strategic location of our new facility in Qatar will be pivotal in addressing the markets that we plan to serve, as well as for us to reach out to potential partners and collaborators for the Group.”
Siddiqui, who will lead the new facility as general manager – Middle East, added: “With this new office, we embark on our Middle Eastern journey in bringing cheer, joy, laughter, and smiles to awe our audiences with our large, immersive and technologically-advanced entertainment assets to the region.”
Sohan added: “The new facility will not only boost tourism across the region but also attract a new talent pool to the developing entertainment technology industry.”
The new venture is expected to bring varied benefits to Qatar. Cityneon is a global leader in immersive experiences and will help develop the regional entertainment technology and Intellectual Property (IP) industry to generate new jobs in robotics and animatronics, costume design and fabrication, and sculpting and moulding, among others.
Qatar Free Zones’ technology and research ecosystem will enable Cityneon to enhance its IP business operations for the region and benefit from a growing community of like-minded organisations, dedicated research and innovation facilities, and partnership opportunities.
The partnership between QFZA and Cityneon will also support the Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to create a knowledge-based economy and promote economic diversification. It will expand the significant skilled labour pool in Qatar and support the ongoing digital transformation of the country.