Saudi govt. approves board members of General Entertainment Authority

Updated 01 January 2017
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Saudi govt. approves board members of General Entertainment Authority

The Council of Ministers of the government of Saudi Arabia has approved the appointment of the board of the General Entertainment Authority.
Commenting on the appointment of the board, Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb, chairman of the board of the General Entertainment Authority, said: “This is a significant milestone in the development of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority.
“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 in the burgeoning Saudi entertainment industry. We have made progress in recent months and there will be much more delivery over the next year.
“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.”

The Board of the General Entertainment Authority is as follows:
• Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi: Minister of Commerce and Investment in Saudi Arabia
• Fahad Mohammed Al-Jubair: Mayor of the Eastern Province
• Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel: Chairman and CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel
• Lama Abdulaziz Al-Sulaiman: Former vice chairwoman and board member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• Mousa Omran Al-Omran: General manager of West Bakeries Company, and independent director of Al-Marai
• Bandar Mohammed Assiri: Head of General Commission for Audio-visual Media
• Joe Zenas: Chief executive officer at Thinkwell
• Jonathan Tétrault: Executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Cirque du Soleil
• Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the board of the General Entertainment Authority

The board will meet quarterly.
Amr Al-Madani, the founder and former chief executive officer of Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy, has also been appointed chief executive officer.
Al-Madani will be responsible for day-to-day operations, and for establishing the General Entertainment Authority as a supporter, promoter and regulator of the entertainment industry across Saudi Arabia.


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.