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Abu Dhabi firms merge to form live powerhouse

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned promoter Flash Entertainment has merged with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) to form new live entertainment powerhouse Ethara.

The companies have officially integrated their activities and operations, combining their expertise to launch Ethara, which promises to “shape the future of events, entertainment and venue management throughout the Middle East and beyond”.

With offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Riyadh, Ethara will be led by former ADMM CEO and Flash board member Saif Al Noaimi, who will be responsible for driving commercial expansion across new markets.

“By combining our strengths, we are perfectly positioned to make memorable moments that matter,” says Al Noaimi. “By integrating the activities and operations of two of Abu Dhabi’s pioneering entertainment and event management titans, Ethara will further establish the Emirate as an economic engine in the entertainment, event management, and sports industries, locally, regionally, and internationally.”

Ethara’s stated ambition is “to shape the untapped and unique opportunities in the live events space while continuing to deliver growth that has firmly positioned the Middle East on the global entertainment stage”.

“We have an unrivalled wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills, which will propel Ethara’s success far beyond what either company could achieve alone”

“We have an unrivalled wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and skills, which will propel Ethara’s success far beyond what either company could achieve alone – all powered by world-class creativity and innovation,” adds Al Noaimi.

Headed by CEO John Lickrish, Flash launched in 2008 and opened a Saudi headquarters in Riyadh last September. Collectively, ADMM and Flash have delivered more than 700 major events in the 15 years since their inception, including the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yasalam After- Race Concerts and FIFA Club World Cup.

Ethara – which translates as “thrill” in Arabic – will continue to manage and oversee a portfolio of assets including Etihad Park, Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 circuit, Yas Marina Circuit and the Yas Conference Centre.

News of the merger comes weeks after European live group All Things Live (ATL) launched a new operation in the territory, headed by veteran promoter Thomas Ovesen.

Ovesen has more than 20 years of experience in the region, working at Dubai-based venues and promoters such as Coca-Cola Arena, 117 Live and Done Events before launching his own company TOP Entertainment. The partnership is the result of prior collaborations between TOP and ATL, as well as “a desire to fast-track long-term plans, increase synergies, and seize opportunities across the region”.

Read IQ‘s recent feature on the rapidly developing UAE touring market from the Global Promoters Report here.


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