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.


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 3 min 37 sec ago

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”