Thomas Oveson was also formerly the head of Dubai-based Done Events and VP of Programming at Coca-Cola Arena
Thomas Oveson, he former CEO of Dubai-based promoter 117 Live, has joined Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) as director of entertainment.
More recently, Oveson was VP of Programming at Dubai Arena (now known as Coca-Cola Arena), and before joining 117 Live in late 2015, he was the head of Dubai-based Done Events.
At DGDA, Oveson will be tasked with conceptualising and executing entertainment activities and promoting local and international talent.
“This is a great time to come to the kingdom as it drives new entertainment programming into the capital,” Oveson said.
“Entertainment is a key component of the experiences that keep a destination exciting, and in Diriyah we will be developing an offering of activities suitable for the whole family, from ticketed live shows to public outdoor experiences.
“I look forward to being part of Diriyah’s emergence as a global gathering place recognised for pioneering lifestyle, culture and live entertainment,” he added.
The DGDA was launched in 2017 and in July 2018 named former Forbes Travel Guide CEO Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo as CEO.
The DGDA oversees the restoration of Diriyah and the development of new museums, academic institutions and “edutainment” facilities, as well as resorts, restaurants, wellness facilities and high-end retail in a 7.1 million square metre development on the west side of Riyadh.
The site is also home to Saudi Arabia’s At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage site and in December hosted the Formula E Grand Prix for the first time.