FaceOf: Turki Al-Shabanah, Saudi media personality

Turki Al-Shabanah
Updated 08 December 2018

FaceOf: Turki Al-Shabanah, Saudi media personality

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

Turki Al-Shabanah is a Saudi media personality associated 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 has 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.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.