Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Essa, chief of the Saudi Royal Court

Updated 08 September 2019

Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Essa, chief of the Saudi Royal Court

Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Essa was recently appointed by royal decree as chief of the Royal Court at the rank of minister.

King Salman issued a number of decrees on Aug. 30, including the creation of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, and the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, among other important appointments.

Al-Essa was formerly the head of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s office at the Defense Ministry.

Al-Essa had been a legal researcher at the Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers. He then became a legal adviser at the bureau.

He worked as a legal adviser cooperating with the Royal Court from 1996 until 2013, and was appointed director general of the defense minister’s office in 2014.

Al-Essa is an accredited arbitrator by the Justice Ministry. He previously worked as an adviser to and member of the Joint Saudi-Yemeni Border Demarcation Committee, and a member of the preparatory committee of the Saudi-Yemeni Coordination Council.

He received the Yemeni National Unity Medal for his efforts in Saudi-Yemeni border negotiations in 2001.

Al-Essa served as chairman of the permanent committee to study issues related to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Administrative Sciences at King Saud University, and a master’s degree in law from the American University in Washington.

King Abdul Aziz lookalike to star in new Saudi Movie 'Born a King'

Updated 8 min 25 sec ago

King Abdul Aziz lookalike to star in new Saudi Movie 'Born a King'

  • Rakan Abdulwahid is the 32-year-old Saudi actor who plays King Abdul Aziz
  • The rapper, singer, designer, model and now actor considers himself a 'Saudi ambassador of arts to the US' 

RIYADH: With his long dreadlocked hair, handsome Arabian looks and a quiet disposition, Rakan Abdulwahid is the 32-year-old Saudi actor who plays King Abdul Aziz in “Born a King.”

His family history runs deep with the Al-Saud family. “My great grandfather fought alongside King Abdul Aziz,” Rakan told Arab News.  

His family’s lineage goes back to the days of King Abdulaziz as they are considered the official “Al-Arda” dance performers. They have been performing the pre-war and celebratory dance for over a century, before the founding of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

His uncle, Salah Abdulwahid, is featured in the movie, as the main Al-Arda performer.

The Saudi actor felt a connection to the founder of the Kingdom, not only physically resembling the king, but also embodying his charisma.

Before the shooting of the movie, he began reading up on anything he could get his hands on to learn more about the founder’s personality, to try and pefect his character and do him justice on the big screen.

Born in the US and raised in the Kingdom, and an avid athlete in his youth, he was a soccer player until he broke his hip in a tournament.

The multitalented actor not only shines through on the big screen, but is a rapper, singer, model and designer. As a lover of the arts in all forms, he believes that culture can build bridges across the world.

He has vowed to represent his country in a positive manner while breaking stereotypes about Saudi Arabia. He also speaks French, English and Spanish fluently.

The actor obtained four degrees in just 7 years, having majored in industrial engineering with a minor in business and math from Northeastern University.

He later continued his education and received his master’s in engineering project management and an MBA certificate in global supply chain management. However, that didn’t stop him from taking law classes at Harvard for a semester.

As a child he would write 300-page stories, cooked passionately and danced with abandonment.

He returned to his homeland to play one of the most influential people in the Kingdom’s history: Its founder King Abdul Aziz.