Bahrain set to host Motor Sport Business Forum in 2008

The Motor Sport Business Forum is to expand with a new conference and exhibition in the Middle East. Set to coincide with round three of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Kingdom of Bahrain will play host to a regional version of the two day conference on April 1-2, 2008 in the days leading up to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. This will be the first year of an exclusive five-year agreement.

Founder Simon Berger said: “Hosting the event in Bahrain is a significant step forward for the Forum and one we are very excited about. Motor sport provides a unique platform for businesses to build and leverage their products and as the sport continues to grow globally reaching new markets so do the opportunities for companies to get involved.

“This is especially relevant to the Middle East where motor sport is gaining more attention and rapidly growing in popularity year on year. Focus is being placed on the sport in the region because businesses are very aware of its global impact and commercial opportunities."

As the “Home of Motor Sport in the Middle East", Bahrain was the obvious choice for the Motor Sport Business Forum. Since the first Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004 the country has benefited from opportunities in the industry. During the 2006 Formula One race Bahrain benefited from a direct economic impact of $397 million and the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) was responsible for almost 5 per cent of the country’s GDP. Throughout the Middle East investment in motor sport has covered Formula One teams, Moto GP, FIA sanctioned circuits and the development of new racing series and grass roots motorsport. The presence of the industry touches all the GCC countries with heightened interest in a diverse range of activities that demonstrates commitment and understanding.

Martin Whitaker, CEO of the BIC explained: “Motor sport has taken a quantum leap forward in the region and now has an extremely strong commercial presence, with new developments and projects as well as thriving sponsorship and partnership initiatives. Staging the Motor Sport Business Forum here in the Middle East, particularly in Bahrain where the sport and the automotive industry have such a strong foot-hold, is a great opportunity to show businesses based in the region the global possibilities associated with the automotive industry."

The conference will be staged over two days providing exhibition facilities in addition to the conference. It will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit in a state-of-the-art building designed by Herman Tilke in a setting and atmosphere that creates the perfect backdrop for enthusiastic discussion and the development of innovative opportunities in motor sport.

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