Saudi Arabia’s first entertainment academy opens in September

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority supported the signing of a MOU between two specialist companies to build and operate an academy for entertainment. (SPA)
Updated 21 June 2019

Saudi Arabia’s first entertainment academy opens in September

  • The academy will offer a specialist associate diploma program in entertainment management

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) supported the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between two specialist companies to establish and operate an academy for entertainment that will offer specialized entertainment courses and programs.

MINA Education and Development & Bunyan Development signed an MoU to establish and operate the academy. The MoU was signed at the GEA’s headquarters in Riyadh in the presence of the agency's CEO, Amr Banaja, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This first Saudi academy for entertainment is to open in September, SPA said, offering a specialist associate diploma program in entertainment management.

Praising this vital initiative, Banaja described it as a step forward toward enhancing cooperation between relevant entities, and creating projects that add value to the Kingdom’s entertainment sector.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016 mandated the development of long-term model of prosperity for the Kingdom and the result was Vision 2030, an ambitious yet attainable blueprint to ensure that Saudi Arabia is a vibrant society, a thriving economy and a progressive nation.

The GEA is proud to be one of the drivers of transformation in the Kingdom, with a clarity of purpose to build a world-class entertainment industry that will put Saudi Arabia on the global tourism and entertainment map.

Banaja also took this opportunity to reiterate the GEA’s commitment to supporting such initiatives, which serve the development of a sustainable and effective industry able to fulfill the economic and social objectives.

Banaja also highlighted the significance of the project in empowering young Saudis by equipping them with necessary career skills and creating enriching job opportunities as outlined in Vision 2030.

Moreover, Banaja stated that GEA continually seeks innovative projects and initiatives that aim to develop solutions and contribute toward achieving the sector’s objectives as part of an overall comprehensive strategy.


TheFace: Noor Balfaqeeh, PR head at Saudi National Center for Performance Measurement

Updated 19 min 45 sec ago

TheFace: Noor Balfaqeeh, PR head at Saudi National Center for Performance Measurement

My upbringing influenced my choice of career and determined the things that I am passionate about. As a purpose-driven person, I find meaning in everything I do and turn it into the fuel that keeps me moving.

Born in Jeddah and raised in Madinah, I was the eldest child in the family home which put me at the forefront of responsibility. Looking after my siblings and helping my mother with chores, taught me how to depend on myself and care about others.

I grew up in a house close to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which turned it into a motel-like destination, where we would receive friends and relatives from all over the world. I also remember that we used to free-up two rooms of the house every Hajj season to host pilgrims, and this awakened a sense of giving in me.

As a teenager, I helped my father in his work, mainly writing and publishing books. I also assisted him in his genealogy work, which is the study of families and tracing lineages.

Besides enjoying my time with the non-stop guests and playing with my sisters, school was the biggest joy of my life. When I did not come first in my class, I would be second.

In 1994, I graduated from high school as one of the top 10 students and would have gone to engineering college if it had been available for girls. Instead, I studied at King Abdul Aziz University from where I gained a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. I later obtained a master’s degree in translation from the University of Birmingham.

My husband is a great man. Ever since I left my parents’ house, he has been my partner, a great father to our children, my mentor and above all my soul mate. Together we have been on a quest to find a good life together and aid the development of each other.

I am a mother of four beautiful jewels; two of them are adults and are out of the nest studying abroad. The other two little girls are the joy of my life and we are enjoying life’s adventures together.

I am the head of public relations and communication at the National Center for Performance Measurement (Adaa). Joining Adaa in 2018 was an adventurous move and a life-changing decision. I had to move to Riyadh with my family after spending five years as head of communications and sustainable business at multi-national company Unilever, in Jeddah.

My career in public relations and communications started in 2007 at Effat University.

The qualities that were deeply embedded in me for helping and serving others came to good use when I became a certified consultant of Birkman psychometric assessment.

WildFit Arabia is another project that I am working on with two of my dear friends. The program is a unique nutritional and lifestyle challenge that helps people to maintain a healthy weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

I am also translating a book by a scientist and scholar who changed my life when I attended many of his workshops.

My journey of self-exploration started in 2011 and paved the way for many positive changes in my life on professional, personal, social and spiritual levels. I am a resilient person who is filled with peace and love for everyone and everything.

My biggest achievement was to holistically stabilize myself emotionally, socially and professionally, something which allowed me to become better in all aspects of my life.

Every morning I meditate and remind myself, “I am full of hope and gratitude, I am determined to give and serve, I am full of confidence that I am better in every role I play in this life.”

The motto I stand by is: Every day and in every way, I am getting better and better. So, I know that even the sky is not my limit and with good intention I will continue positively impacting the lives of whoever crosses my path.