PDC President Barry Hearn Reveals No Immediate Plans to Send Darts to Saudi... Yet

Barry Hearn's humorous chat hints at PDC darts in Saudi Arabia, cultural considerations, and potential innovations, leaving the door open for future possibilities.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-04-29

Naim Rosinski

5 minutes read

Barry Hearn's Amusing Exchange

During the ongoing 2024 World Snooker Championship, Barry Hearn, the President of Matchroom Sport, shared an amusing anecdote about a conversation he had with HE Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) of Saudi Arabia. Hearn recounted the exchange, shedding light on the potential prospect of bringing PDC darts to the Kingdom.

Hearn disclosed the dialogue, where Alalshikh expressed interest in hosting PDC darts events in Saudi Arabia, akin to the recent successes of boxing and snooker tournaments. However, the conversation took a humorous turn when the topic of alcohol, a staple at traditional darts venues, arose.

Alcohol and Darts

In response to Alalshikh's inquiry about hosting darts events, Hearn humorously quipped, "Well, can we have alcohol?" Upon learning that alcohol would not be permitted, Hearn jokingly remarked on the potential lack of enthusiasm from the audience. He envisioned a scenario where darting fans, accustomed to the lively atmosphere fuelled by alcohol, might not find the same fervour in a dry environment.

“The Saudis asked me last week: Could we have darts in Saudi? I said: Well, can we have alcohol? He said, oh no. I went, oh no. I can’t see too many people in the crowd taking off their outfit and putting Donald Duck’s head on. It just doesn’t seem to fit. I said, maybe that’s a little bit earlier your highness, a little bit early,” Hearn told


Image credit: PDC

Cultural Considerations

The exchange highlights the cultural nuances and considerations involved in hosting international sporting events in Saudi Arabia. While the Kingdom has demonstrated a keen interest in diversifying its entertainment offerings, aligning with global sporting trends, certain cultural and regulatory factors must be taken into account.

Innovations in Saudi Sporting Events

Saudi Arabia's foray into international sports has been marked by innovative twists, such as the introduction of the golden ball in snooker and the 167 break. With a penchant for innovation, speculation arises regarding the potential adaptations and unique elements that Saudi Arabia might introduce to the world of darts.

PDC Darts in Saudi Arabia

Despite the light-hearted banter surrounding the prospect of PDC darts in Saudi Arabia, Hearn did not dismiss the possibility entirely. While current circumstances may not align, he left the door open for future collaborations, hinting at the potential for PDC darts events in the Kingdom under different circumstances in subsequent seasons.

Balancing Tradition and Innovation

The humorous exchange between Barry Hearn and HE Turki Alalshikh sheds light on the complexities and possibilities of hosting PDC darts events in Saudi Arabia. While cultural considerations and regulatory constraints pose challenges, the conversation underscores the Kingdom's ambition to diversify its entertainment offerings while balancing tradition and innovation. As the landscape of international sports continues to evolve, the potential for PDC darts to grace Saudi Arabian venues remains an intriguing prospect for the future.

Stay tuned to for more captivating stories and exclusive interviews from the exhilarating world of darts.

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.