FaceOf: Amr Banaja, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority

Amr Banaja
Updated 02 March 2019

FaceOf: Amr Banaja, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority

  • He received a bachelor’s in economics from Boston College in the US in 1998

Amr Banaja has been the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since August 2018.

Speaking at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 75th anniversary celebrations on Thursday, Banaja said that the GEA would work to build partnerships with firms in the private sector, to facilitate investment that could create over 200,000 jobs in the region by 2030.

He said: “The GEA will build new partnerships with private companies, and create seven new entertainment venues in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, to give the companies a platform from which to prosper and expand.”

He received a bachelor’s in economics from Boston College in the US in 1998, and later attended executive training courses at the London School of Business and Finance in 2017, and Columbia University in 2018.

After returning to Saudi Arabia, he worked in a variety of sectors, including real estate, financial services and consumer goods. He also worked in several other Gulf nations, for organizations including Sama Dubai, National Commercial Bank, Unilever and Gillette.

In 2011 he joined the Saudi Economic and Development Co. (SEDCO) as a senior vice president.


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)