HomeGame on, Licensing Your Sports Venture in Saudi Arabia

Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of sports-related businesses in Saudi Arabia? If you’re passionate about sports and looking to venture into this dynamic industry, you’re in the right place! Let’s explore the incredible scope and developments happening in the Saudi sports sector, providing valuable insights for those seeking to obtain licenses for sports-related businesses. 

Saudi Arabia is making bold moves in the sports domain as part of its visionary plan, Saudi Vision 2030. This ambitious strategy aims to diversify the economy away from oil dependency, create more job opportunities for Saudis, and ensure a sustainable future for the Kingdom. At the heart of this vision lies the Sports for All (SFA) initiative, launched in 2018, dedicated to driving progress toward the Vision 2030 targets in sports. 


What’s fascinating about SFA is its inclusive approach, targeting people of all ages and backgrounds, including housewives. In fact, SFA has implemented regulations ensuring that sports are presented as open to both men and women, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to gender equality and community well-being. 

The goals of SFA are nothing short of inspiring: 

  • Motivating people of all capabilities to lead healthier lifestyles. 
  • Increasing community-wide physical activity levels and fostering socialization through sports. 
  • Collaborating with the private sector to stimulate overall growth in sports and physical activities across the Kingdom. 

But that’s not all. The Saudi government is actively promoting sports activities and facilities at both community and national levels. Initiatives such as the establishment of a new sports fund and the privatization of soccer clubs in the Saudi Professional League are creating significant opportunities for foreign companies interested in the sports sector. 

Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia is set to become a hub for major sporting events, with upcoming competitions including the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, AFC Asian Cup, and even FIFA World Cup in 2034. Hosting these events not only boosts tourism and infrastructure development but also presents ample opportunities for sports academies to thrive. The arrival of spectators and participants creates a demand for sports facilities, coaching services, and talent development programs, offering a promising outlook for entrepreneurs in the sports industry. 

What does this mean for aspiring entrepreneurs like you? Well, the potential is enormous! With the increasing demand for sports equipment, services, and facility management, there’s a plethora of opportunities waiting to be explored. 

Moreover, the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP) serves as a catalyst for the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030, with a strong focus on enhancing sports infrastructure and promoting grassroots participation. The goal? To boost community engagement in sports from 13% to an impressive 40% by 2030. 

Prepare yourself to embrace the thrilling opportunities waiting for you! Keep in mind that securing a license for your sports-related business marks the beginning of your journey toward fulfilling your aspirations in this vibrant and promising field. 

Let’s dive into the provisions, procedures, and requirements that will pave the way for your success in this dynamic industry. 

Ready, Set, License!  

First off, the Ministry, as the organizing authority of the sports sector in the Kingdom, holds the authority to issue licenses and approvals for Sports Academies, ensuring they can deliver top-notch sports and recreational education. 

Your Sports Academy can unlock its full potential by obtaining the essential license from the Ministry, giving you the green light to offer enriching programs that empower individuals of all ages. 

While obtaining a license is crucial, it’s important to note that it doesn’t exempt Licensees from obtaining any other necessary approvals from relevant authorities or complying with additional laws and regulations. 

As your Sports Academy grows and flourishes, you have the exciting opportunity to expand its reach by applying to the Ministry for the establishment of geographically defined branches, further enhancing your presence and impact in the community. 

Now, isn’t that exciting? As you navigate the path to licensing your Sports Academy, remember that each step brings you closer to realizing your vision and making a meaningful impact in the world of sports education.  

Submission of Necessary Forms: Your First Step 

Picture this: You’re at the starting line, poised for success. The first hurdle? Signing those crucial forms and declarations requested by the Ministry. Think of it as your ticket to the game – without it, you’re sitting on the sidelines! 

Commercial Registration: Making it Official 

Now, let’s talk paperwork. Showcasing your sports and recreational education activities is key. How? By providing a copy of your commercial register issued by the Ministry of Commerce. This isn’t just about legality – it’s about putting your academy on the map. 

Proof of Legal Capacity: Your Time to Shine 

Are you the mastermind behind the academy, or perhaps the driving force as its manager? Whatever your role, it’s time to shine! Show your legal capacity with the right documentation – whether it’s your ID card as the owner, memorandum of association, or a valid power of attorney if you are the manager. This is your moment to prove you’re ready to lead the charge. 

Obtaining Approval from the Concerned Federation: Meeting Technical Standards 

Now, let’s talk technicalities. Ensuring compliance with the Concerned Federation’s requirements is crucial – it’s like fine-tuning your game strategy. Within 24 months of obtaining your license, make sure you’re meeting those standards. Need more time? Don’t worry – extensions are  on the table, ensuring you have the opportunity to play your best game! 

Licensee’s Commitment 

  • Be a compliance champion, honoring all regulations and laws. 
  • Master technical aspects outlined by Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee and the Concerned Federation  
  • Utilize provided templates for streamlined operations. 
  • Stay sharp by following instructions and circulars from the Ministry and Federation.. 
  • Provide all requested documents and funding details promptly. 
  • Keep the Ministry informed of any changes to your information or documents. 
  • Showcase your academy’s identity on official correspondence. 
  • Notify the Ministry within 10 working days of any changes during the licensing process including alterations to the Licensee’s memorandum of association, articles of association, or commercial register . 

Preventing Penalties:  

Stay on top of regulations to steer clear of penalties like fines or license suspension. Your vigilance safeguards the integrity of your academy. Here’s the lowdown on penalties: Mess up once, get fined. Mess up twice, the fine might double. Stay clean for two years, you’re back to square one. Multiple violations from one mistake? Each gets its own penalty. And don’t worry, if three months pass without more trouble, they might cut you some slack. But if the violation’s still ongoing, time’s ticking. 

The Ministry acts as a vigilant guardian, offering clear guidance and deadlines for correcting any missteps. Penalties, outlined in Cabinet Resolution No. 248, range from fines to license suspension or cancellation. Violations include operating without a license or breaching obligations. However, the system also allows for redemption, with penalties reviewed periodically and notifications provided for clarity. Stay informed, stay compliant, and chart your course to success in the Saudi sports arena. 

Compliance Check: Oversight Measures for Sports Institutions 

The Ministry and the Concerned Federation keep a close eye on sports academies and related activities. They may assign officials to ensure everything runs smoothly and report any findings to the Competent Department for necessary actions. Confidentiality is key, with information kept secure and shared only as per regulations. Financial and administrative reports may be checked, and documents like premises’ titles or lease agreements might be requested. This oversight ensures compliance and fosters trust in the sports industry. 

Complaint Resolution: 

Lodge your grievances effortlessly through our Ministry’s website, designated postal address, or in-person delivery. Once received, it will be swiftly forwarded to the Competent Department for review, ensuring quick resolution in line with our Regulations. Don’t forget to attach the necessary documents – for individuals, it’s your National ID card, residence permit, or passport, while legal entities need to provide a copy of the commercial register, all duly signed. 

Launch your Sport Academy 

Embrace these final provisions with enthusiasm and determination, knowing that each step brings you closer to realizing your vision of a top-tier sports academy in Saudi Arabia. 

Get your finances in order and be ready to showcase your academy’s financial health as required by the Ministry. Before representing the kingdom, seek approval from both the Ministry and the Concerned Federation. As these Regulations take effect, it’s time to kickstart your licensing journey. Trust in the Ministry’s guidance as they adjust regulations to fit the public interest, providing a strong framework for your success. 

As the clock ticks down on your current license’s validity period, seize the opportunity to effortlessly renew it within the last three months, and let your Sports Academy shine brighter than ever before! 

As Saudi Arabia ramps up its efforts to woo sports enthusiasts from around the globe, the doors of opportunity swing wide open for sports academies. 

Obtain your license and get your academy off the ground! With these conditions met, you’re well on your way to securing your license and turning your Sports Academy dreams into reality. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to step onto the field and make your mark in the Saudi sports arena!