CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla Arrested on Corruption Charges

Amr Al-Madani, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), has been arrested on allegations of corruption. The country’s oversight and anti-corruption authority, Nazaha, announced on Sunday that Al-Madani is being held in custody for his involvement in “crimes of abuse of authority and money laundering.”

According to Nazaha, Al-Madani is accused of benefiting from illegally obtained contracts worth approximately $55 million. These contracts were made between Saudi Arabia’s sustainable energy research sector and the National Talents Company, a group in which Al-Madani holds partial ownership. Shockingly, it is alleged that Al-Madani directly profited from these projects through money transfers from two of his family members who were employed by the company. Both family members have also been arrested and have reportedly confessed to their involvement.

The arrest of Al-Madani has sent shockwaves through the RCU, leading to his immediate replacement as acting head of the commission by Abeer Al Akel. Nazaha further revealed that Al-Madani continued to hold a stake in the National Talents Company even after assuming his post at AlUla in 2017. It is believed that he recommended the company for RCU contracts, further deepening the allegations against him.

The heritage region of AlUla, located in northwestern Saudi Arabia, has been a focal point of the country’s plans to transform into a tourism and creative industries hub as part of its 2030 Vision strategy to diversify its economy. Massive investments have been made to develop facilities and attract film productions to the region, including the upcoming Gerard Butler action film set to be shot in 2023.

However, the RCU and the AlUla project have faced criticism, with some accusing them of “art-washing.” This term refers to the use of cultural and entertainment investments as a means to counter negative coverage of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including the infamous 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

As this story unfolds, the Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the Royal Commission for AlUla for comment. The implications of this arrest on the future of the AlUla project and Saudi Arabia’s global industry profile remain uncertain.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is unfortunate to hear about the allegations of corruption surrounding Amr Al-Madani, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU). In light of this situation, I would like to recommend individuals interested in visiting AlUla to consider exploring alternative tourism services or agencies that are not directly affiliated with the RCU. By doing so, you can still experience the beauty and historical significance of AlUla while ensuring your visit supports ethical and transparent practices. It is always

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