FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khateeb, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

Ahmad Al-Khateeb
Updated 03 January 2019
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khateeb, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

  • Al-Khateeb also served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI)

Ahmad Al-Khateeb is the newly appointed president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). 

The SCTH is making great efforts to transform Saudi Arabia into a global tourism hub. It has taken many measures to boost and promote tourist sites across the Kingdom.

Al-Khateeb also served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), as well as chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). 

He has over 25 years in the financial services and investment sectors, and has particular expertise in establishing, managing and restructuring government and corporate entities. 

Al-Khateeb is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khateeb has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992, he joined Riyad Bank, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khateeb joined Saudi British Bank (SABB) and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.

Al-Khateeb received his BA in business administration from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, and subsequently a diploma in wealth management from Dalhousie University in Canada. 


Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

Updated 26 March 2019
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Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

  • He said he hopes to support Saudi filmmakers through his recently launched production company
  • The festival, at Ithra, is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province

DHAHRAN: Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. talked about his experiences in Hollywood, and the challenges he has faced during his career, when he appeared on Monday night at the fifth Saudi Film Festival, which is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province.
Known for his roles in movies such as “Men of Honor”, “A Few Good Men” and “American Crime Story,” among others, he has appeared in more than 85 films during a 30-year career on screen and stage. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.
Gooding Jr. arrived for the event, at the King Abdul Aziz World Center for Culture (Ithra), accompanied by Claudine De Niro, the estranged wife of actor Robert De Niro’s son, Raphael. They were greeted by renowned Saudi film producer and Hollywood businessman Mohammed Al-Turki.
Gooding Jr. spoke to the audience at Ithra for almost 60 minutes about his long career and the challenges and pitfalls he had experienced on the road to success in the film industry. He also offered some advice to anyone interested in following in his footsteps.
“No one prepares you for success,” he said. “That’s why you see a lot of actors that star in movies, then disappear. Or you see athletes that make a $100 million and then they disappear, too. They weren’t ready for it.
“You have to envision yourself standing on that stage, holding an Oscar over your head, saying, ‘This is for the Middle-East’. You have to envision the script that you will write and envision being on that stage, holding that Oscar.
“People asked me after I won that Academy Award if I ever thought I would be on that stage. I always said, ‘Not in a million years.’ But that’s a lie. You have to envision yourself on that stage, winning that award, so that when you succeed it will feel normal, not like it’s something special, so that you can do it again.”
The actor also said that he intends to support filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and other countries through his recently launched production company.
Asked if he had any projects planned in the region, and Saudi Arabia in particular, he said: “I do, actually. I have a couple of things. I don’t want to give it away but let’s just say that there is a lot of great literature that I’ve read, a lot of different books, including Arabian Nights. It’s hard to talk about the things in development because you don’t want to give it away but there is definitely something in development.”