Snack Summit Dubai: Driving Sports Transformation and Global Investment

Italiacamp, in collaboration with Social Football Summit, hosted the Snack Summit Dubai on April 17. The event was held virtually due to the challenging weather conditions in Dubai. The event, themed “A Story of Sports Transformation“, brought together visionary leaders from the sports industry to discuss the UAE’s ambitious plans and substantial investments in promoting national identity, health, well-being, and inclusion through sports, while stimulating economic growth and positioning the country as a global hub for sports, tourism and entertainment.

The event was moderated by Cristina Guida La Licata and featured official greetings and an enlightening opening speech by H.E. Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of Italy in Dubai, who highlighted the significance of the Social Football Summit‘s presence in Dubai. His Excellency underlined the strong interest in football, including Italian football, and the growing attention given to sports and a healthy lifestyle in the UAE. He also noted that Dubai and the UAE are establishing themselves as a global center for sports, offering many opportunities for Italian companies. In his closing remarks, the Consul General praised the work of Leo Cisotta, General Manager of Italiacamp EMEA and his team at the Dubai Hub for Made in Italy in fostering a deeper understanding of the market in Italy and supporting Italian companies in accessing and thriving in the UAE and the Gulf region.

Massimo Tucci, Director of Social Football Summit, highlighted in his insightful introductory remarks, the significance of the Snack Summit as a milestone in the internationalization process of Social Football Summit. He acknowledged the United Arab Emirates as a global powerhouse in attracting investment, particularly in the sports sector, and recognized the UAE and the Middle East as premier destinations for international sporting events, innovation, and sustainable growth.

The event featured two engaging panel discussions, “A Story of Sport Transformation” and “Driving Global Investment,” which provided valuable insights into the rapidly evolving sports landscape in the UAE and the Middle East. The first panel featured insightful discussions from industry leaders such as Budreya Faisal, CEO of Ghost Concept & President of Banaat FC, Fabrizio Puglisi, Founder and CEO of Juventus Academy, Greta Nardeschi, Regional Director MENA of AC Milan and Mohamed Harb, Head of Sports and Gaming MENA TikTok. The speakers shared their unique perspectives on the growth and challenges of women’s football in the region, the importance of academies in nurturing young talent, the role of international football clubs in the UAE, and the impact of social media and gaming on the sport.

The second panel included valuable contributions from Guido Fienga, CEO of Al Nassr Saudi Club, Valerio Soldani, Director of ITA Italian Trade Agency in Dubai, Matteo Mantovani, Strategic Consultant of HQWS and Michele Napoli, CEO of RCS Sports and Events DMCC. The panelists discussed the growing international audience for Middle Eastern football leagues, the opportunities for Italian companies in the UAE sports market, the transformation of football in the region, and the future of sports events in the face of global challenges.

By fostering partnerships and knowledge sharing through events as the Snack Summit, Italiacamp Dubai Hub for Made in Italy aims to support the growth and internationalization of Italian sports businesses while contributing to the development of the sports industry in the UAE.

As industries continue to evolve and transform, the Dubai Hub for Made in Italy remains at the forefront of driving change and innovation in various sectors that are aligned with the UAE’s strategic goals, including sports, healthcare, energy, education, agritech and mobility, among others.