Meet Turki Al-Sheikh: The Man Behind Riyadh’s Glamorous Events

Saudi Arabia has been going through liberal changes, especially when it comes to arts and entertainment. It’s all thanks to Turki Al-Sheikh. He’s been the Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) of Saudi Arabia since 2019. In the past three years, he’s transformed the Kingdom massively. His numerous contributions to art and entertainment are revolutionary, with three main accomplishments to mention. However, who is Turki Al-Sheikh?

His political and governmental career started by working in the Interior Ministry, then the Defence Ministry. He also worked in the office of the Crown Prince for three years. Al-Sheikh’s career shifted and he was appointed as a royal advisor, then he was promoted to be a minister. Following this, he became the Chairman of the General Sports Authority, and the owner of Unión Deportiva Almería, the Spanish Football Club. Moreover, in 2019 he became the Chairman of the GEA. Furthermore, Al-Sheikh is the Saudi Royal Court Advisor!

Al-Sheikh as an artist

He rose to fame as an artist for being a published poet, songwriter, and book and film writer. Many Arab singers sang his songs, such as Amr Diab, and Kazem Al-Saher. Al-Sheikh‘s patriotic poems got the royal family on his side. His latest film, Cello, was written by him; it has international acclamation, starring Jeremy Irons, the Academy Award Winner. However, this is not the end of the list of his interests, he’s also passionate about football and sports. Those two interests have made him an expert; expert enough to be assigned as chairman for both fields’ authorities!

Turki Al-Sheikh signing his book -Via Instagram.

Being the Chairman of the GEA, his visions are aligned with Vision 2030. His work to diversify the economy of the Kingdom through the entertainment sector is going in the right direction. Under his supervision, the GED organized three events that transformed Riyadh into an entertainment hub in the Middle East.

His biggest contributions that have taken Saudi Arabia to a whole new level are The Joy Awards, MDLBEAST Soundstorm, and Riyadh Season.

The Joy Awards

The awards show was magnificent, from the entrance to every little detail. Celebrities from all around the Middle East attended the event. Many honorary awards were given out to people in 13 categories for television, cinema, social media, music, and sports. Furthermore, the U.S. actor, John Travolta, attended the event and received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Bollywood star, Salman Khan won the Personality of the Year award!

Meanwhile, in the Memoriam section, an award to celebrate Samir Ghanim and Dalal Abdel Aziz was given to their daughters, Donia and Amy. Furthermore, the Saudi actress, Elham Ali, won the award of Favorite Actress. Upon receiving her award, she said that she couldn’t believe she was being honored for her artistic achievements on the grounds of Riyadh. That pretty much sums up how huge The Joy Awards are.

MDLBEAST Soundstorm

Saudi Arabia’s first music festival was the rage for four consequent days in 2021. Over 200 artists from all around the world performed, such as Armin Van Buuren, Martic Garrix, Lil Eazy, and Nancy Ajram. With a huge stage, an amazing light show, and visuals, the music festival had food stalls and full-on entertainment as well. There was also a huge tent called DANCE BEAST with electronic dance music blasting, in addition to an underground area with four small stages. For Saudi music lovers, this was a first. For the Middle East and the world, this put Saudi Arabia on the map for music festivals.

Riyadh Season

The entertainment festival is basically a 5-month party. It’s filled with arts, food, music, masterclasses, sports, workshops, a carnival, and much more. Riyadh Season introduced to Saudi Arabia: Boulevard Riyadh City, Combat Field, Riyadh Oasis, Riyadh Winter Wonderland, Riyadh Safari, and don’t forget about the Saudi Squid Game edition! The festival gathered people from all around the world. Al-Sheikh actually recently announced that the festival had over 10 million visitors in just 100 days! If that is not a success, we don’t know what is.

Under the reign of Turki Al-Sheikh, the entertainment experience in Saudi Arabia has become rich.

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