FaceOf: Turki Al-Shabanah, Saudi minister of media

Updated 29 December 2018

FaceOf: Turki Al-Shabanah, Saudi minister of media

  • He has held several key positions in the Arab media industry
  • Al-Shabanah was the chief executive officer of Rotana

In the wake of recent Cabinet reshuffle, Turki Al-Shabanah has been appointed the minister of media.

He is a media personality known for his association with Rotana, a popular TV network, as the chief executive officer.

The media group operates a network of 13 leading channels, several radio stations, and the world’s largest Arabic movie and music libraries. 

Variety magazine recently ranked Al-Shabanah one of the 500 most influential media personalities of the world.

He has held several key positions in the Arab media industry. In 1996, he was in charge of the MBC office in the US. He also served as assistant to the general supervisor of MBC in London before it moved to Dubai.

In 1999, he was appointed as MBC deputy program production director, a position he held until 2003.  Al-Shabanah launched Khalijia channel in May 2005. It was initially a music channel broadcasting mainly music videos from the Gulf region.

In 2008, Khalijia became a general-viewing channel broadcasting Saudi and Gulf region art and heritage, and taking the lead among others targeting the Gulf audience. He also served an adviser to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal between 2003 and 2007. 

He also served as the general supervisor of MBC FM radio station and supervised the production of a number of programs produced at its stations in Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Riyadh. He was also the director of Rotana and LBC TV channels. He also co-founded Charisma Productions Co. with Ayman Al-Zyoud.

Al-Shabanah holds a bachelor’s degree in law from King Saud University in Riyadh, and a master’s degree in international trade law from Washington University, US.

Before starting a career in the media, he started out as an attorney in the US.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”