The Saudi government has appointed the board of directors for its recently created General Entertainment Authority, it was announced on Wednesday.
The General Entertainment Authority, established as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme, is part of the kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy.
As part of its mandate, the authority will develop, promote, regulate and fund an entertainment infrastructure in Saudi, partnering with both government bodies and the private sector.
The newly appointed board includes high-profile executives from the public and private sector – Majid Abdullah Al Qasabi, Saudi’s minister of Trade and Investment; Fahad Mohammed AlJubair, mayor of Eastern Region; Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, chairman and CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel; Lama Abdulaziz AlSulaiman, former vice chairwoman and board member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce; Mousa Omran AlOmran, general manager of West Bakeries Company and independent director of AlMarai; Bandar Mohammed Assiri, head of General Commission for Audio-visual Media; Joe Zenas, CEO at Thinkwell and Jonathan Tétrault, executive vice-president and COO at Cirque du Soleil.
Amr AlMadani, the founder and former CEO of Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy, has been appointed CEO.
Ahmed Aqeel AlKhateeb, who was appointed chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in May, said they are already making quick progress.
“We have made progress in recent months and there will be much more delivery over the next year,” he said.
“In addition to the esteemed members of our board who have already made a valuable contribution to Saudi public life, we are particularly delighted to welcome international experts who will further help us in our aim of both developing and investing into the burgeoning Saudi entertainment industry.
“In line with the goals set out by Vision 2030, we will strive to provide the Saudi people with quality entertainment choices, building and supporting an entertainment sector for everyone in Saudi Arabia.
“With our board now formally in place, the next step is to move ahead with strategies that help nurture entertainment in all its forms, while also seeking to safeguard our precious cultural heritage,” he added.
The General Entertainment Authority has already started organising events in the kingdom, such as a show by US dance group iLuminate in Riyadh this October.
The Authority also teamed up with US-based theme park operator Six Flags this year.
Six Flags plans to open at least three park in the kingdom, with the first likely to open in 2020 or 2021.