MoU Signing Between Ithra and National Geographic Ensures New Content Creation

27 Mar 2018

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has signed an exciting new agreement with National Geographic to produce content, exhibitions and live shows, over the next five years.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on March 27 in New York City. The deal will bring together one of the globe’s most established media brands with one of the world’s newest emerging hubs for knowledge and creativity.

The agreement will lead to new content creation across TV, digital, social and print platforms, distributed to both Saudi and global audiences, thus increasing the Kingdom’s international profile and reputation in emerging creative industries. It will also provide new opportunities for young Saudis to travel to China and the United States, and for students in those countries to travel to Saudi Arabia.

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is a Saudi Aramco initiative aimed at promoting knowledge, the creative arts and cultural exchange. It is part of the Kingdom’s aim to develop itself as a new regional center of innovation and creativity.

National Geographic’s revered storytelling from the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers, is enjoying its 130-year anniversary in 2018. The deal will see the Center and National Geographic collaborate on a number of groundbreaking programs.

They will include:

  • A modernized digital archive of stories and photos taken in Saudi Arabia since 1910.
  • The production and broadcast of enriching Saudi content worldwide.
  • Live joint events produced by National Geographic and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture across the Kingdom.
  • National Geographic exhibitions across Saudi Arabia.
  • New student expeditions, which will see young Saudis traveling to China and the United States, and students there, having the opportunity to travel to the Kingdom.
  • Additional educational outreach programs.

“These are exciting times for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Nasser A. Al-Nafisee, Saudi Aramco Corporate Affairs vice president. “We believe that this Memorandum of Understanding has the potential to make a lasting, tangible and positive impact on Saudi Arabia and to promote knowledge, creativity and culture.”

“This agreement has the potential to showcase Saudi talent and creativity worldwide and give our young people the skills and insights they need for the challenges of the future,” Al-Nafisee continued. “We are looking forward to this partnership and the opportunity to work with National Geographic in the coming years and we believe that this collaboration will be fruitful for both parties.”

Gary E. Knell, National Geographic CEO noted, “This partnership reflects our mutual desire to entertain, enlighten and educate global audiences. We are excited to be taking a new Saudi audience through the portal of our yellow border to explore our planet and beyond.”

“And we are equally excited about bringing the story of Saudi Arabia – its people, their innovations, rich history and cultural experiences – to new audiences,” Knell continued. “This agreement marks what we hope will be many more opportunities to share National Geographic’s unparalleled portfolio of media assets and digital platforms with the Saudi people.”

The forum convened chief executive officers of major U.S. and Saudi companies across an array of industries, with Saudi officials to explore opportunities aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

About National Geographic Partners

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.