GEA to launch Joy Forum19 in bid to make Saudi Arabia entertainment industry leader

General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh. (Supplied)
Updated 06 October 2019

GEA to launch Joy Forum19 in bid to make Saudi Arabia entertainment industry leader

  • The two-day forum is part of a push to put Saudi Arabia on the international map as an entertainment industry leader

RIYADH: Entertainment pioneers from around the world get together as General Entertainment Authority’s (GEA) event Joy Forum19 opens on Oct. 13 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

The two-day forum, to be launched by GEA Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh, is part of a push to put Saudi Arabia on the global map as an entertainment industry leader.

It will host speakers, experts, CEOs, international academics and companies involved in knowledge-based entertainment sectors from within and outside the Kingdom. A-list Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities are also set to attend.

Among the attendees include Clement Wong, Vice President at Huawei Global Product Marketing; Bill Ernest, CEO of SEVEN; Marco Balich, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Balich World Shows; Mohammad Al-Abbar, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Emaar; Mohammad Al-Zaabi, CEO of Miral Asset Management; Sultan Al-Hokair, Fawaz Al-Hokair Group Vice President for Food and Entertainment.

Also in the list of attendees are Fahad Hamidaddin, General Supervisor of Investment, Strategy, Marketing and Programs at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage; Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Ad Diriyah Gate Development Authority; Scott Givens, President and CEO of Five Currents; and Martin McDonnell, CEO and co-founder of Sublime and the founder of Soluis.

There will be international case studies on successful entertainment sectors, design strategies, and the ability to implement change.

Growth opportunities for the local economy, the role of social behaviors, interaction with innovation and technology, and the creation of happiness and well-being will be discussed.

There will be an entertainment exhibition workshop that will bring together researchers, designers, developers and businessmen who are interested in designing, developing, evaluating and marketing events for the Saudi market.

GEA CEO Amr bin Banaja said Saudi Arabia is moving forward confidently toward building a competitive entertainment industry where local and international talent and business will intersect, setting the stage for a first-rate entertainment industry hub.

FASTFACT

It will host speakers, experts, CEOs, international academics, and companies involved in knowledge-based entertainment sectors from within and outside the Kingdom. A-list Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities are also set to attend.

The innovate initiative, launched earlier this year under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, forms an integral part of the Vision 2030 strategy.

The GEA is committed to supporting and nurturing local talent, developing a thriving entertainment industry that will create truly exciting employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young Saudis, and further extending and preserving the Kingdom’s centuries-old cultural legacy.

The entertainment authority has taken several steps to strengthen collaboration with the private sector. 

The recently concluded National Day Season is a testimony to the efforts the GEA is making to change the entertainment landscape of the Kingdom. 

The five-day Saudi National Day celebrations, which concluded on Monday evening, attracted more than 3.7 million people to various events organized across the Kingdom.

This year more than 40 events took place between Sept. 19 and 23. These events ranged from festivals, concerts, and fireworks, to youth forums, accompanied by celebrations on the streets as well as in public places and squares.

According to GEA chairman Al-Sheikh, more than 6,800 jobs were created for the successful execution of National Day celebrations activities.


Dr. Abdullah bin Rafoud Al-Safiyani, Saudi Shoura Council member

Updated 18 January 2020

Dr. Abdullah bin Rafoud Al-Safiyani, Saudi Shoura Council member

  • He was appointed to the consultative body in 2016
  • He has been awarded a medal of excellence from the Ministry of Education

Dr. Abdullah bin Rafoud Al-Safiyani was chosen as a Shoura Council member by a royal decree from King Salman in 2016.

The Shoura Council convened on Wednesday, and Al-Safiyani demanded that the National Anti-Corruption Commission investigate and set up an authority to oversee influencers’ activities on social media.

He said it had become important for the anti-graft body to monitor influencers as they were paid tremendous amounts to publicize government entities, and that there needed to be regulations to process such transactions.

Al-Safiyani has a bachelor’s degree, a master’s and a doctorate from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah.

He is a member of Almajmaa (Virtual Academy of the Arabic Language), the Saudi Scientific Association for Arabic Literature, the Saudi Association for Education and Psychology and the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States, in addition to his Shoura Council membership.

He is also the vice dean of community service and continuing education at Majmaah University in Majmaah City, Saudi Arabia, and has collaborated with the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for the Arabic Language on several programs.

He has been awarded a medal of excellence from the Ministry of Education, and is also the director general of Adab (International Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature). He has been a teacher and an administrator in public education since 1998.