Saudi Arabia to host third edition of SIMEC – From 4 to 6 February, Saudi Arabia will host the third edition of the Saudi International Marine Exhibition (SIMEC), the largest aquaculture exhibition in the Middle East. Organised in collaboration with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) and the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Programme (NLFDP), the event aims to highlight the importance of sustainable fish production, underlining the sector’s economic potential.
With over 12,000 visitors expected, SIMEC has expanded its exhibition space from 6,000 to 8,000 square metres, reflecting the growing interest and success of previous editions. A new highlight is the seafood cooking competition, supported by the World Associations of Chefs Societies and the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association, which will test Saudi chefs in creating unique dishes with aquaculture species.
The exhibition is not only an opportunity to showcase marine products and cutting-edge technologies, but also serves as a platform to promote domestic and foreign investment in the aquaculture sector. Ammar Al-Ziter, CEO of City Events, the organisers of the event, emphasised the extensive investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressing that the exhibition offers a unique opportunity for trade exchange between countries.
In addition to the main exhibition, the event includes specialised workshops on crucial topics such as the future of training in closed-loop aquaculture systems (RAS), the financing of aquaculture through the country’s agricultural development fund, applied research for inland aquaculture development, and innovations in shrimp farming.
SIMEC is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a government initiative to diversify the economy, reduce dependence on imported food and promote the growth of the aquaculture sector.
A sector that has seen remarkable growth, increasing from a production of about 32,000 to almost 120,000 tonnes from 2015 to 2022.
The National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA), Jazan Energy and Development Company (JAZADCO), Tharawat Seas and Tabuk Fisheries emerged as leaders in the sector, contributing to the success of the Saudi seafood industry. The shrimp sector has particularly stood out, but marine fisheries and tilapia production are also gaining ground.
Saudi Arabia is implementing ambitious initiatives to further consolidate its leading position in the sector. Projects such as the national biosecurity programme, support for scientific and applied research, accreditation of aquaculture facilities and the establishment of hatcheries for various species are just some of the actions undertaken.
By actively participating in local and international exhibitions and conferences, Saudi Arabia strives to attract foreign investment and develop further opportunities in the aquaculture sector. In addition, feasibility and environmental studies demonstrate the country’s commitment to ensuring the sustainable development of the sector.
SIMEC 2024 is not only a showcase for aquaculture innovation, it is also a tangible sign of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future for the fisheries sector, promoting food security and stimulating economic growth.
Saudi Arabia will host the third edition of SIMEC