Jazzing up the Kingdom: Music fest planned as reforms take hold

Saudi Arabian singer Rashed Al-Majed peforms during a concert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 26 October 2017

Jazzing up the Kingdom: Music fest planned as reforms take hold

RIYADH: A Saudi Arabian industrial zone plans to host a jazz festival around the end of this year as it moves into tourism and entertainment, a result of economic reforms designed to end the Kingdom’s reliance on oil exports.
In January, Jeddah hosted Saudi Arabia’s first major public concert in over a decade, featuring Arab music.
Reforms launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are changing the business environment. The crown prince has identified tourism and entertainment as key industries to develop because of their potential to create jobs.
Fahd Al-Rasheed, group chief executive of Emaar the Economic City (EEC), which is developing the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on the Red Sea coast near Jeddah, said he aimed to have foreign musicians perform at the jazz festival.
Al-Rasheed said it was not clear whether current visa rules would permit a large foreign audience at the festival, but predicted heavy demand for tickets among Saudi citizens.
“There is a huge, untapped demand for events and cultural performances like this,” he said in an interview on Wednesday on the sidelines of an international conference promoting Saudi Arabia as an investment destination.
The jazz plan underlines a shift of emphasis at KAEC since the crown prince started his reforms last year.

FaceOf: Bader Al-Asaker, secretary-general of Misk Foundation

Bader Al-Asaker
Updated 28 May 2018

FaceOf: Bader Al-Asaker, secretary-general of Misk Foundation

  • Al-Asaker is also the secretary-general of the King Salman Youth Center

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation, commonly known as Misk, is a non-profit foundation devoted to cultivating learning and leadership in Saudi youth.

The Misk Innovation initiative is currently taking part in the International Technology Fair “VivaTech” in Paris.

This is the first participation of its kind to support the emerging technological creations of a number of innovators from the Kingdom’s youth.

In its pavilion, Misk presented seven technological innovations in various fields, including those that serve the hearing-impaired through technical support, the aviation industry, automotive electronic solutions, road safety, Arabic and international media monitoring, and the perfume industry.

Bader Al-Asaker is the secretary-general of Misk Foundation.  Al-Asaker is also the secretary-general of the King Salman Youth Center. 

Al-Asaker is also head of the private office for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the rank of minister since he was appointed by a royal decree in July 2017.

He is a member of the Council of Saudi Chambers, and a member of the Youth Business Committee at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh.

He is also the deputy general director of Alasaker for Electronic Systems and AC in Riyadh, which was established in 1980 and has around 10 branches in Riyadh city. He is also a member of the board of directors of Riyadh Schools and has previously served as deputy CEO of Salhia Dates and Sweets Co.

Al-Asaker holds a bachelor’s degree from King Saud University, Riyadh. He has a profound influence on the social networking platforms especially Twitter, where he is followed up on his personal account by more than 1 million users.