Saudi Seasons ‘will drive jobs, economy, tourism’, says General Entertainment Authority’s CEO

Amr Banaja, General Entertainment Authority's chief executive.
Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Seasons ‘will drive jobs, economy, tourism’, says General Entertainment Authority’s CEO

  • Social return on financial investment to be evaluated, Entertainment Authority chief executive tells Arab News

RIYADH: The Saudi Seasons program of sports, cultural and entertainment events will contribute to a thriving economy and a vibrant society, one of the main driving forces behind the initiative told Arab News on Saturday.

Amr Banaja, chief executive of the General Entertainment Authority, said his team would be evaluating the “social return” on the financial investment involved in bringing a raft of world-class performers to the Kingdom.

Major entertainment events, he said, were “an example of attracting around 5 million visitors to our events, 1 million of them tourists from outside the Kingdom.

“We are working with over 80 local companies; under these companies there are so many subcontracted suppliers, we are creating over 25,000 jobs, we are also developing opportunities for over 25,000 volunteers.

“They will create not just people that are happy across the Kingdom, and tourists, but they will create real economic impact from job creation to GDP contribution. We will analyze all the results from the first year and continue to build on the success that we have had.”

Sustainability was a top priority for the authority, Banaja said. “In the long run, we would be contributing to the economy as well as job creation, and we’ve already seen it.

“In the first few years of building a new economy, a lot of efforts are required, from setting up the regulations and licensing process to igniting all the support for the private sector. 

“We have started to develop some real local companies as well as local talents, and in the near future we will be dependent on a thriving local industry.


Moath Al-Naeem, chief investment officer of Alpha Capital

Updated 12 min 52 sec ago

Moath Al-Naeem, chief investment officer of Alpha Capital

Moath Al-Naeem has been chief investment officer of Alpha Capital since its establishment in March 2018.

Alpha Capital is a rapidly growing company licensed by the Capital Market Authority and with assets well above SR1 billion ($267 million).

Before joining the company, Al-Naeem worked for almost a decade in Saudi Aramco’s investment department, which handled the oil giant’s multibillion-dollar pension and savings plans.

Al-Naeem began his career as a financial analyst in fixed income and public equity desks. Afterwards, he led the international real estate desk, where he conducted an on-site investment review and due diligence on several funds to build the global real assets portfolio.

He worked on the restructuring of Aramco’s thrift savings plan and was part of a team that led the successful spin-off of the investment department to a standalone entity, Wisayah Investment Co.

Al-Naeem, a CFA charter holder, earned his MBA from Imperial College London, and attended executive programs in real estate and private equity at Harvard and London Business School, respectively.

He is a board member of Dammam Airport Co. and Siporex Lightweight Construction Co., and a member of the Investment and Financial Papers Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was also a board member of the CFA Society in Saudi Arabia.