Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman
Updated 09 September 2019
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Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman was appointed energy minister by royal decree on Sunday, replacing Khalid Al-Falih, who had held the post since May 2016. 

Prince Abdul Aziz had served as minister of state for energy affairs at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources since 2017.

He had also served as deputy minister of petroleum and mineral resources since 2015, and was an assistant to the minister from 2004 to 2015, undersecretary at the ministry from 1995 to 2004, and adviser to the minister from 1987 to 1995.

Prince Abdul Aziz served as director of the department of economic and industrial studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals from 1985 to 1987.

He headed the team formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco to prepare the Kingdom’s oil strategy, as well as the team charged with updating the strategy.

He also played a role in putting forth the first strategy endorsed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its ministerial conference in 2005, when he chaired the committee of OPEC oil and energy ministers to prepare its long-term strategy.

Prince Abdul Aziz is a member of the High Committee for Hydrocarbons, the board of directors of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, and the board of directors of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.

He attained his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran in 1982, and his MBA from the same university in 1985.


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.