Saudi Arabia launches Farouq competition for amateurs

Turki Al-Sheikh
Turki Al-Sheikh

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.

:: Amateur competitors in the Kingdom will compete for prizes in swimming, archery, and horse-riding as part of an initiative launched by Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA). The Farouq competition will offer total prize money of more than SR500,000 ($133,000) for all challenges.

The competition, launched on Sunday, has four stages, with performance and evaluation starting on Nov. 15 and extending for 10 days. Candidates will demonstrate their skills in an interactive challenge in front of judges who will assess their performance. Winners of the three challenges will be announced after the fourth and final stage on Nov. 25.

The winner will receive SR100,000, second place SR50,000 and third place SR25,000. Admission requirements and details of the competition are available on, or on Twitter @alfarooqawards. Al-Sheikh announced the competition at the GEA strategy launch in January. The GEA has launched an ambitious program of events throughout the year, with traditional and culturally significant local events featuring prominently.

“Competitions are an important element of entertainment, the most important will take place during Ramadan and will be of an Islamic nature, with the supervision of Islamic scholars,” he said.

Earlier, the GEA announced that it has allocated a total prize fund of $3.2 million for what it called the largest Qur’an competition. It also announced the first Athan competition, where the winner will receive prize money of $530,000.

Al-Sheikh also announced the Hijra Journey contest, which will require participants from around the Muslim world to walk between Makkah and Madinah in a reenactment of Prophet Muhammad’s journey.

The GEA aims to transform Saudi Arabia into one of the top 10 international entertainment destinations, and has negotiated long-term contracts with more than 100 local and international partners, Al-Sheikh said.

In line with one of the pillars of Vision 2030, the GEA aims to organize, develop, and lead the sector to provide exciting entertainment options, and tailored experiences to the needs of people from all walks of life around Saudi Arabia. Also, it focuses on contributing to improve and enrich the lifestyle and social cohesion among the community.

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