The Business and Management of Sport in the Middle East and North Africa Region
Sport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is growing both in prominence and in stature, most potently symbolised by Qatar winning the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It is estimated that the global sports industry is currently worth between $480 and $620 billion, and that revenues generated by the industry will amount to more than $145 billion by 2015. The MENA region is witnessing particularly rapid growth, with revenues according to PWC growing by 7%. Such growth is being driven by, among others things, significant investments in sport made by countries within MENA, and in events being staged and hosted across the region. This has resulted in a series of notable developments; for instance, the International Cricket Council has relocated to Dubai as the country seeks to become an administrative centre for sport; while Abu Dhabi has collaborated with Ferrari to create a sport event destination, in conjunction with its hosting of an F1 Grand Prix. At the same time, there are several countries in the region that continue to encounter problems with sport. Conflicts in Syria and Palestine pose serious challenges for creating and sustaining sport; infrastructure is often destroyed and social structures are constantly exposed to pressure. Nevertheless, in such situations sport has often become a focus for projects aimed at promoting social cohesion, and peace and reconciliation.
As such, a workshop of the nature proposed embraces both a significant number of countries and a range of issues with which most scholars are already familiar. At one level, the workshop will therefore create an opportunity for existing knowledge to be applied in what for many will be a new context. However, there are also specific contextual factors that are likely to result in sport being viewed in new and different ways. For example, Islamic beliefs and laws sometimes pose unique challenges for sport; geopolitical changes both within and outside the region are marked; while practices such as the Kafala labour system are currently being widely scrutinised.
We therefore present a workshop as being about an area of the world with which many of us are becoming increasingly familiar, which thus far has received scant attention by the majority of sport scholars, but which presents significant opportunities for academics to engage in important and valuable research activity.
The workshop will consist of two components: one session will consist of between 3 and 6 paper presentations; the other session will consist of a panel discussion in which scholars who have researched or worked in the MENA region will talk about the business and management of sport, and the opportunities for academic researchers in the region.
If you are interested in presenting as part of this workshop, please note the submission process:
- • All abstracts must be submitted via the online abstract submission form. You will have the option of nominating this workshop as part of the submission process.
- • The workshop convenors will review the abstracts and select those that best represent the theme.
- • Successful applicants will be notified by 1 May 2015. Unsuccessful applicants will still have the opportunity to present their paper within a relevant topical session.
Professor Simon Chadwick (Coventry University/Josoor Institute, Qatar).
Dr Mahfoud Amara (Loughborough University)
Professor Veerle De Bosscher (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Dr Sue Bridgewater, (University of Liverpool)
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