It was a dreamy night on which art and artists were honored in Riyadh, the capital of arts and creativity. In the 3rd edition of Joy Awards, the largest event of its kind in the region, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority celebrated stars from the Arab region and the globe, and gathered esteemed figures from the worlds of cinema, TV, and sports under one roof.
Organized by the Entertainment Authority during the Riyadh Season every year, the Joy Awards is one of the most prominent awards in the region, and an opportunity which artists take to meet, connect, talk, and exchange expertise, as well as a destination for esteemed figures to explore the kingdom and discover the young Saudi talents.
The event celebrates artists and creatives in different industries with 15 various awards and many honorary ones that appreciate the journeys of exceptional figures in the world of art.
The honorary awards
As an appreciation of their works over the past years, the Entertainment Authority honored a number of prominent names in different fields. Indian legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, one of Bollywood’s greatest stars. Among those who received the honorary awards was also Mel Gibson, one of the world’s best actors and winner of two Oscars.
Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara was honored as Personality of the Year for all her works, including her famed series ‘Modern Family’, which gained a remarkable audience in the Arab region and the Middle East. The Joy Awards also honored Kuwaiti esteemed actresses Souad Abdullah and Hayat Al Fahad for their decades-long journey as two of the most prominent TV symbols in the Gulf and the Arab region.
The honorary awards also went to Egyptian cinema couple, Ahmed Helmy and Mona Zaki, US director Michael Bay, Saudi singer Rashed Al Majid, Kuwaiti singer Nawal, Spanish actress Esther Acebo, Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, chairman of MBC Group for his efforts in media and constant support of art, and Rotana CEO Salem Alhendi.
A night to appreciate local talents
Saudi artists had the biggest share of the awards in all categories. Ibrahim Al Hajjaj won Favorite Actor for his exceptional work on the Saudi drama ‘Minho Waladna?’; Ahmad Al Shugairi won Favorite Influencer; Jori Kattan won her first award, the New Voice Award, which she received with teary eyes. Abdul Majeed Abdullah won the Most Favorite Male Artist for his exceptional 50-year journey and many great albums that pleased the Arabic audience; and the Female Athlete of the Year Award went to Saudi swimmer Mariam bin Laden.
Awards for all Arabs
Many Arab artists were also honored in the Joy Awards evening including stars Ahmed Ezz and Hend Sabri with the Favorite Actor and Actress trophies for their roles in the film “Kira & El Gin”.
Star Nadine Nassib Njeim also picked up the Favorite Actress Award for her role in “Salon Zahra”; Syrian singer Assala won the Favorite Song Award for her song “Shokran”; and Lebanese influencer, Abir el-Saghir won the Favorite Female Influencer.
Salon Zahra, directed by Joe Bou Eid, won the prestigious Favorite TV Series Award; Egyptian singer Angham was honored with the Favorite Singer Award; and Moroccan player Achraf Hakimi was awarded Best Sportsman which he received with his mother.
Tribute to those who left
In a heart-warming gesture, the Entertainment Authority honored many prominent figures who passed away in 2022 including Algerian director and scriptwriter Yamina Bachir; former Kuwaiti media minister Mohammed Al-Sanousi; Egyptian sports commentator Ibrahim Hegazy; Qatari footballer Ahmed al-Malla; esteemed Lebanese actor Pierre Chamoun; and Egyptian actress Aida Abdel Aziz; in addition to Egyptian chef Osama el-Sayed; Saudi TV host Ghaleb Kamel; Saudi actor and director Ali el-Huyerini; Kuwaiti actor Ghanem al-Hamadi; Kuwaiti singer Suleiman al-Malla; Egyptian actress Rajaa Hussein; Saudi actor Khaled Sami; Kuwaiti actor Jassem Abbas; and Lebanese actor Joseph Abboud. The authority also paid tribute to Syrian singer Dhiab Mashhour; Moroccan comedian Noureddine Bikr; Lebanese singer George Rassi; Egyptian cinema producer Mohsen Alamuddin; Egyptian director Ali Abdel-Khalek; Syrian actress Antoinette Najeeb; and Egyptian director Galal el-Sharkawy.
Concluding keynote…Artists from Syria
Turki Al Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Saudi Entertainment Authority, addressed the concluding keynote, in which he thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman for their massive support to the kingdom’s entertainment industry which has witnessed a continuous progress.
Al-Sheikh congratulated the winners, and highlighted the importance of the winning and loosing culture, noting that everyone should be happy for the honoring of their colleagues. He also said he is happy to see Syria’s artists, noting that the Arabic audiences have missed the Syrian drama, the all-time favorite on Arabic TV screens.