Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal …. From the Formula Circuit to the Saudi Ministry of Sports
By : Taha Sakr
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is an exceptional personality, who stole the hearts of the Saudis. Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki appeared in the spotlight of the country and media when he became the first Saudi who participated in a GT3 European championship race and won.
The long-term vision of young Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki and his desire to become a successful athlete and to be a worthy inheritor to Al Saud Royal family led him to numerous achievements and victories in motorsports, forever writing down his name in the history of Saudi Arabia.
The assignment of the grandson of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia as the Minister of Sports became the start of a new stage for young Saudi athletes. Upon his assignment, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki has undertaken a responsibility to initiate and implement programs that will rejuvenate sports in Saudi Arabia, motivate and empower Saudi youth, and will also make Saudi Arabia a place to host and celebrate the best international sports competitions and victories.
The First Minister of Sports
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal was appointed as the first Minister of Sports in the Kingdom by a Royal decree on February 25th, 2020, after transforming General Sports Authority into a Ministry.
Historically, the Ministry of Sports has witnessed three transformations, starting from the Saudi Sports Organization, under the name “Youth and Sports Welfare,” then “General Sports Authority,” and now the Ministry of Sports. The newly established Ministry will be responsible for organizing sports, cultural, and social activities in the Kingdom.
In addition to this assignment, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal presides over the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, the Arab Football Federation, and the Sports Federation for Islamic Solidarity. He is an Executive Member of the Marketing Committee of the International Olympic Committee, and the President of the International Camel Federation.
A Flight to Ambitions of Saudi Youth
The news of young Prince’s assignment as a Minister became a milestone event for Saudis, who unconditionally respect and acknowledge Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.
The joy that swept the Saudi masses after the announcement of the Royal decree and embraced the platforms of social networks was caused by the ambitious victories of Prince as an athlete and his long-term vision as an entrepreneur. Over the years of his career development, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal has set many goals and achieved them, thus becoming a role model for the new generation of the Kingdom.
Son of Sports
Allegorically speaking, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is considered as “the son of sports.” He had been the Vice President of the Sports Authority before he was appointed as a Minister.
Prince Abdulaziz has participated in numerous motor racing competitions and won various titles including the Porsche GT3 Championship in 2012 (first place), the Toyo Tires Cup in Dubai (first place), Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Formula BMW Bahrain, ADAC GT Masters Round, Porsche GT3 CCME (9-times winner), Radical Masters AUH round (second place). In 2015, he won in Dubai, starting a series of the top 10 finishers in the racing season.
His Highness started his career in motorsports after graduation from the Formula BMW School in Bahrain in 2005. Six years later, he won the European GT3 Racing Championship, which was held in Portugal, in May 2011. There he became the first Saudi to win this award with his assistant Eduardo Sandstrom after driving a BMW Z4.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal during his service as Vice President of the Sports Department, contributed to the organization of many sports events in the Kingdom, such as Formula E races and Riyadh races.
Steps Leading to the Vocation of Minister
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud was born in Riyadh on June 4th, 1983. He graduated from the King Faisal School in 2000 (Riyadh). Prince Abdulaziz continued his higher education in politics at King Saud University from 2001 to 2003, then went on to take a politics degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Additionally, His Highness holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from UBT University in Jeddah (2010). The path in sports started after graduation from the Formula BMW School in 2005.
In addition to the current position, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud is the Chairman of such distinguished companies and corporations as Saudi Industrial Resins Company, the Construction Directory, Estebraq Company, the Saudi Sports Group, and the Saudi Racing Company.
Earlier in 2013, Shell in Saudi Arabia announced Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal as the ambassador for Road Safety in Shell’s 2013 road safety program.