- New facility in Ras Bufontas Free Zone will cater to growing entertainment technology markets in the EMEA region
- Facility to include an international experience and entertainment technology centre, innovation lab and a large-scale production workshop
DOHA, QATAR - Media OutReach - 13 December 2021 - Cityneon Holdings, a global entertainment company based in Singapore that specializes in unique, immersive, and large-scale experiences, signed in Doha a strategic partnership agreement with Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to establish a facility in Qatar Free Zones. The facility will cater to growing entertainment technology and experience markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
QFZA and Cityneon Holdings officials during the signing ceremony held on 8th December 2021
Artist impression of Cityneon's new facility spanning 15,000 square meters in Ras Bufontas Free Zone
The agreement was signed during a ceremony at Ras Bufontas Free Zone in the presence of H.E. Ahmad Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Secretary-General of Qatar's National Tourism Council and H.E. Jai S Sohan, Singapore's Ambassador to Qatar, as well as QFZA senior management. It was signed by QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui and Cityneon General Manager of Middle East Feroz Siddiqui. 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 15,000 square meters 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: The Movie Exhibition in Chengdu, China, and their Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition in Las Vegas and many more.
Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA, 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 such facility in the Middle East at Qatar Free Zones is 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 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."
Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO Ron 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."
Feroz 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."
Singapore's ambassador to Qatar H.E. Jai S Sohan, who witnessed the ceremony, added, "It is my delight to see Cityneon set up base in Qatar Free Zones, a leading hub for innovation in the region, as the latest of many Singaporean companies with operations in Qatar. 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 organizations, dedicated research and innovation facilities, and partnership opportunities.
The partnership between QFZA and Cityneon will also support Qatar's 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.
About Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA)
Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) started its operations in 2019 and it oversees and regulates world-class free zones in Qatar and secures fixed investments within the zones. QFZA offers outstanding opportunities and benefits for businesses seeking to establish operations and expand regionally and globally, providing quality infrastructure, a skilled workforce, 100% foreign ownership, access to investment funds, tax exemptions and partnership opportunities with Qatari entities.
About Cityneon Holdings
With its global reach and international partnerships, Cityneon has the capability to serve its clients anywhere in the world. Cityneon was listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2005, and was privatized on February 2019 by West Knighton Limited, a company wholly owned by Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Ron Tan, together with Hong Kong veteran entrepreneur and investor, Johnson Ko Chun Shun. Johnson is a capital markets veteran and has held controlling interests and directorships in many listed companies. In May 2019, Cityneon welcomed CITIC Capital as a new shareholder, who holds approximately 9% shares in Cityneon. CITIC Capital is part of CITIC Group, one of China's largest conglomerates, and has over US$29B of assets under its management across 100 funds and investment products globally. Other institutional shareholders of the Group include EDBI - a Singapore government-linked global investor, and Pavilion Capital - a Singapore-based investment institution which focuses on private equity investments, that made strategic investments to the Group in August and October 2019 respectively. In April 2021, Cityneon welcomed new investors Seatown Holdings International, Qatar's Doha Venture Capital, which will now own approximately 4% of the Group, and other financial institutions and family offices in Singapore and China, joining the already strong stable of shareholders to support the Group's further expansion globally.