Thomas Ovesen heads to Saudi Arabia
Entertainment veteran Thomas Ovesen has joined the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) as Director of Entertainment.

In his new role, Ovesen will support the growth of Diriyah and help realize its vision to become an internationally renowned gathering place with world-class experiences and family friendly entertainment.

A major player in the development of the live entertainment industry in the Middle East over the past two decades, Thomas leaves his position as Chief Operating Officer at AEG Ogden Dubai Arena to join DGDA.

Commenting on his move, Ovesen said, “This is a great time to come to the Kingdom as it drives new entertainment programming into the capital. 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 recognized for pioneering lifestyle, culture and live entertainment.”

Home of one of the Kingdom’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, Diriyah is recognized as the historical birthplace of the Kingdom and a cultural gathering place in Riyadh. Ovesen’s responsibilities involve conceptualizing, organizing and executing entertainment activities in line with DGDA’s strategic vision, leveraging his international expertise to promote local and international talent. Alongside the rest of the team at DGDA, he will work to enrich the Kingdom’s entertainment industry in order to make Diriyah the Middle East’s newest and most exciting entertainment destination.

Thomas set up AEG Live Middle East in 2007 in the UAE and helped launch the 35,000-capacity open air Autism Rocks Arena (now 117Live Arena). His work in the Emirates led to celebrated shows in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Throughout his career, Thomas has serviced regional and international events and companies with international talent bookings and event production services across the Middle East, US, UK, Europe, Africa and Australia.
Ovesen joins a team of international experts led by DGDA CEO, Jerry Inzerillo, hospitality and entertainment visionary with over 50 years’ experience.

Celebrating the arrival of Thomas, who joined DGDA in April, Inzerillo commented, “Thomas brings a wealth of experience to Saudi Arabia from his decades in the entertainment sector working with some of the biggest names in global entertainment. We worked together on the launch of the Atlantis Hotel Palm Dubai, and I truly believe he is the best person to lead DGDA’s entertainment programming, as he brings to life incredible events that will show visitors from all over the world what Diriyah has to offer.”

During his career, Thomas has won more awards than any other promoter in the region – from Best Comedy Show to multiple Best Concert Awards – and is celebrated for many of his festival properties.