Saba Alkhamees has been the cultural programs senior officer at the Diriyah Gate Development Authority in Riyadh since September 2021.
In her role, she has launched numerous cultural public programs aimed at raising awareness of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage through its tangible and intangible heritage.
She is also responsible for activating Diriyah’s cultural heritage through interactive programs that support and promote cultural practices across a range of disciplines.
Alkhamees is working to build strategic partnerships at national, regional and international levels, and promote the role of arts and culture in building communities in alignment with the national agenda.
Previously, Alkhamees worked as an exhibitions and programming officer at DGDA from November 2019 to September 2021.
She was responsible for activating At-Turaif, a UNESCO World Heritage site, through a variety of educational and cultural programs aimed at turning the historic site into a cultural space that offers visitors an unforgettable experience.
Alkhamees was born and raised in Diriyah and was fortunate to grow up in a culturally enriched family that provided her with learning opportunities.
She received a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on international relations, and a minor in Middle Eastern and African politics, from West Virginia University in the US.
Alkhamees said that this program gave her an understanding of the political institutions and laws governing organizations and corporations worldwide.
In addition, she was introduced to concepts such as empirical politics, international relations and globalization, and became familiar with the dynamics of human relations across the Middle East and Africa.
Her senior thesis centered on the political consequences of the Arab Spring, a series of protests and uprisings that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s.
Alkhamees also took an executive course in “Understanding Washington, DC” at a think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and learned how governments, businesses and other organizations operate.
“In the past five years, Saudi Arabia has undergone dramatic cultural changes, starting with the establishment of the Ministry of Culture. The government also launched several authorities in charge of visual arts, music, film and museums. With the Kingdom setting out to become a culture house of the world, I knew it was time to return home and take part in this cultural wave,” she said.