Empowerment of women top priority of Vision 2030, says Council of Saudi Chambers head

Time: 20 November 2020

Khaled Al-Yahya

RIYADH: Khaled Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Council of Saudi Chambers, stressed that the economic empowerment of Saudi women is among the priorities of Vision 2030 reform plan.
In his opening speech at the first meeting of the Coordination Council for Women Affairs at the Council of Saudi Chambers for the current session, Al-Yahya said: “The Council of Saudi Chambers seeks to promote women’s empowerment in all economic activities and fields, whether at level of the council or of the authorities that seek to support women’s economic empowerment.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Bassam Ghulman, an executive at the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites

03/09/20

Bassam Ghulman has been the secretary of the comprehensive management center at the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites since this August.
Ghulman has also been deputy minister for transportation affairs at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah since February 2018.
Previously, he was general manager of the Haramain High-Speed Rail Project, which links the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
He was also a professor of contracts and construction project management at Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah.
He first joined the university as an assistant lecturer in 1994, and held several positions there, including head of the civil engineering department.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Umm Al-Qura University. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Oklahoma in the US.
Ghulman also serves as vice chairman of the board of the Saudi Council of Engineers. He was an adviser to the secretary of Makkah, having first joined the municipality there as an assistant civil engineer in 1991.
He is also a member of several government committees, including the advisory board for development in the Makkah region.
Ghulman has participated in local, regional and international events and conferences, and has published numerous academic papers and books.

This article was first published in Arab News

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The 10 richest people in the Middle East, ranked

Time: 01 August 2020

Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Middle East, a region that encompasses many countries, including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, is known for its oil-derived wealth.
Business Insider rounded up the richest people in the Middle East based on Forbes’ world billionaires ranking and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The wealth of many Middle Eastern individuals — particularly heads of state — is unknown, partially because nationals of many countries hide their wealth in tax havens, per Elena Ianchovichina, a World Bank economist.
The richest person in the Middle East — that we know of — is Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, a Saudi Arabian prince who’s worth an estimated $14.3 billion.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Middle East is a region known for its oil-derived wealth.

Some of the region’s richest people are familiar figures: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s known for his lavish spending, and his involvement in human rights controversies, may come to mind.

Over the years, the 34-year-old has dropped $500 million on a yacht$300 million on a French chateau, and $450 million on a Leonardo da Vinci painting. He controls part of the royal family’s fortune that’s estimated at up to $1.4 trillion and includes Saudi Aramco, the most valuable company in the world.

Despite his apparently vast wealth, the prince is nowhere to be found on Forbes’ billionaires ranking — because nobody knows just how rich he is. In 2018, Forbes removed all of the Saudi billionaires that had previously made its 2017 list due to a lack of clarity about the extent of their wealth. There are no Saudis on Forbes’ 2020 billionaires list, but Bloomberg includes three Saudis on its Billionaires Index.

World Bank economist Elena Ianchovichina, who was formerly the lead economist for the Middle East and North Africa region, said in 2015 that such rankings don’t tell the whole story of wealth in the Middle East.

“In many cases, it appears the amount of wealth accumulated by heads of state in the region is not trivial …” Ianchovichina said. “When we include the wealth of heads of state we find that wealth concentration increases in a number of countries, although in some of the wealthiest countries like Qatar and even Kuwait, this particular adjustment doesn’t make much difference.”

She added that nationals of many countries hide their wealth in tax havens and pointed to a 2017 study which found that autocracies rich in resources like oil — like many Middle Eastern countries — have a much larger share of hidden wealth than other countries.

With these limitations in mind, Business Insider rounded up the wealthiest people in the Middle East based on both Forbes’ rankings and Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

We used Cambridge Dictionary’s definition for the region, which encompasses 16 countries: Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Egypt.

Here are the wealthiest people in the Middle East — that we know of.

10. Murat Ulker

Ulker runs Yildiz Holding, which produces a range of food products and non-alcoholic beverages.
Yildiz Holding/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Country: Turkey

Net worth: $5 billion

Age: 61

Source of wealth: food

9. M.A. Yusuff Ali

Yusuff Ali runs LuLu Group International, which operates supermarkets, shopping malls, and hotels in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the UK. He also franchises the Famous Daves BBQ chain in the Middle East.
Schellhorn/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Country: United Arab Emirates

Net worth: $5.27

Age: 64

Source of wealth: food and beverage, hotels

8. Nassef Sawiris

Nassef Sawiris, CEO, Orascom Construction Industries S.A.E. at the annual Allen & Co.’s media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 8, 2009.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Country: Egypt

Net worth: $5.58 billion

Age: 59

Source of wealth: industrial

7. Majid Al Futtaim

Al Futtaim’s Dubai-based real estate and retail company owns shopping malls and hotels in the Middle East, Pakistan, Georgia, and Armenia.
REUTERS/Jumana ElHeloueh

Country: United Arab Emirates

Net worth: $5.97 billion

Age: unknown

Source of wealth: real estate

6. Stef Wertheimer and family

REUTERS/Nir Elias

Country: Israel

Net worth: $6.2 billion

Age: 94

Source of wealth: metalworking tools

5. Mohamed Al Jaber

Al Jaber is the founder of a London-based hotel, food, and real-estate company that owns more than 50 properties in the UK, France, Egypt, Austria, and Portugal.
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Country: Saudi Arabia

Net worth: $7.19 billion

Age: unknown

Source of wealth: retail

4. John Fredriksen

Fredriksen, left, holds stakes in publicly traded shipping companies that operate a fleet of ships and oil tankers.
Nick Harvey/WireImage

Country: Cyprus

Net worth: $7.65 billion

Age: 75

Source of wealth: shipping

3. Mohammed Al-Amoudi

Al-Amoudi controls Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner.
Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Country
: Saudi Arabia

Net worth: $8.95 billion

Age: 74

Source of wealth: energy

2. Eyal Ofer

Ofer controls a shipping and real estate empire through his Monaco-based Ofer Global.
Wikimedia Commons

Country: Israel

Net worth: $9.92 billion

Age: 70

Source of wealth: real estate, shipping

1. Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud

The Saudi prince is the founder of Kingdom Holding, which has stakes in real estate, hotels, and equities.
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Country: Saudi Arabia

Net worth: $14.3 billion

Age: 65

Source of wealth: diversified

This article was first published in Insider

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Sarah Al-Tamimi, vice chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking

Time: 31 July, 2020

Sarah Al-Tamimi

Sarah Al-Tamimi has been the vice-chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking since February 2020. Her work includes coordination with ministries and authorities working together as a national team.

As part of her capacity-building strategy, Al-Tamimi oversees training programs at the committee with partners at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the Gulf Cooperation Council region and the International Organization for Migration, as well as coordinating protection responses for victims and potential victims of trafficking.

Al-Tamimi holds a BA in international relations from Tufts University, an MBA from MIT, and a master of public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

She joined the committee’s fight against human trafficking in October 2019. One of her responsibilities was developing the committee’s strategy.

Coinciding with the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, Al-Tamimi has been nominated by UNODC for her efforts in raising awareness of the issue. UNODC’s campaign this year focused for the first time on profiling people that work in human trafficking. Nominations came from offices around the world and Al-Tamimi was the only person chosen from the GCC countries.

“Enhancing quality of life for all is a key pillar of Vision 2030, which is a goal we also strive for at the committee,” she said.

“Human trafficking is a crime that knows no borders, therefore neither can we who fight it,” said Al-Tamimi.

“Combating human trafficking requires the participation of a variety of international and local actors that goes far beyond the public sector and operates in areas ranging from cyberspace to private sector supply chains.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Salman Faqeeh, managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia

Time: 21 April, 2020

Salman Faqeeh
  • Faqeeh obtained a bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 2002 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Salman Faqeeh has been the managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia since October 2018.
Cisco has been identified as one of the “Best Workplaces in Saudi Arabia” by Great Place to Work (GPTW)- Middle East, achieving second position in this year’s rankings.
GPTW evaluates an organization’s success based on a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey and external audit.
“We are extremely grateful to see the recognition that Cisco Saudi Arabia is receiving,” Faqeeh said. “I would like to thank each and every person on our team, who helps create a work environment which we look forward to each day. We will continue to uphold these values and ensure that Cisco remains one of the best companies to work for in the Kingdom.”
Faqeeh obtained a bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 2002 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
He began his professional career at Microsoft as an account manager for the company’s communications sector.
Faqeeh joined Cisco Saudi Arabia in August 2006 and has held several positions there since then.
During his long tenure with Cisco, he managed important clients and strengthened ties with vital sectors such as defense, health care and energy.
He also served as Cisco operations manager, leading and managing the public sector in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Ibrahim Al-Rashid, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Social Development Bank

11/04/20

Ibrahim Al-Rashid is the chief executive officer and a board member of the Social Development Bank (SDB).

As one of the main government pillars for economic and social development funding to Saudis, the SDB recently launched a SR2 billion ($530 million) health care portfolio to support established and new small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kingdom’s health care sector.

Between 1999 to 2002, Al-Rashid studied at Florida Institute of Technology from where he gained a master’s degree in computer sciences.

In 2006, he worked for Al-Rashed Consultants and Accountants as a consultant before joining the e-Government Program in mid-2007 as director of the e-Gov center.

After a year, he moved to Al-Rajhi Bank where he headed its business relationship management department and in July 2010, he was tasked with running the bank’s IT solutions and development department. He managed the business relationship, vendor management, solutions design and delivery for more than two years.

In September 2012, he was appointed as the chief information officer for the bank and remained in the position for 37 months.

Al-Rashid moved in 2015 to Takamol Holding, a government company targeting and serving individuals and prominent labor segments of the public and private sectors, where he was vice president for two years.

A year later he became the CEO of Rawafid, part of Takamol, and in 2017 moved to the SDB as vice president for micro and SME financing.

He only held the post for four months before being promoted to director general of the SDB.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi minister of investment

29/02/20

Khalid Al-Falih was appointed as Saudi minister of investment after a royal decree issued on Feb. 25 created the new ministry.

He joined Saudi Aramco at the age of 19, and through the company went to Texas A&M University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1982.

Nine years later, he gained a master’s degree in financial business administration from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, in Dhahran, and in 1998 completed a Harvard business program in global leadership.

In 1995, Al-Falih was appointed as head of Saudi Aramco’s service department and later that year was given responsibility for running the maintenance department at the Ras Tanura refinery in the Eastern Province.

After assuming a number of different roles within the company, he was promoted to the position of vice director of its excavation works unit. Within four months he was appointed supreme vice president of Aramco’s gasworks department and was selected for a similar position in the firm’s industrial relations department 14 months later.

Al-Falih became the executive vice president for company operations in September 2007 and held the post for nearly a year before a royal decree appointed him as CEO of Aramco.

In 2015, a royal decree tasked Al-Falih to health minister in the Kingdom but just over a year later he returned to Saudi Aramco as chairman of the board of directors after Tawfiq Al-Rabiah was appointed as the country’s health minister. In April 2016, Al-Falih became chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) and a few days later, a royal decree made him minister of energy, industry and mineral resources.

He was named on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People in 2016 and two years later the Japanese government awarded him its national decoration, The Order of the Rising Sun.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi sports minister

Time: 26 February, 2020

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal
  • Prior to his current role, Prince Abdul Aziz served as the vice chairman of the General Sports Authority

King Salman on Tuesday ordered that the General Sports Authority be transformed into a ministry with Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal as the sports minister.
Earlier, he was the chairman of the now defunct authority. Born on Jan. 4, 1983, Prince Abdul Aziz is an athlete and a talented entrepreneur.
He spent most of his childhood in Europe, where he pursued an active lifestyle and was introduced to motorsports at an early age.
Prior to his current role, Prince Abdul Aziz served as the vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.
He attained his bachelor’s degree in politics from King Saud University in 2003 then went on to obtain a degree in politics at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of London in 2006.
He also studied marketing at the College of Business Administration (CBA) in Jeddah from 2006 to 2010.
Additionally, he graduated from the Formula BMW School in Bahrain in 2005.
Prince Abdul Aziz has participated in many motor racing events and won various titles including the Porsche GT3 Championship in 2012 (he came in first), the Toyo Tires Cup in Dubai (first place), Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Formula BMW Bahrain, ADAC GT Masters Round, Porsche GT3 CCME (which he won 9 times), Radical Masters AUH round (where he came in second), 24H Dubai race, 24H Series.
He also participated in the Gulf Race12 Hours twice, coming in first place in 2014 and second place in 2015. He also succeeded outside the Middle East. In 2011, Prince Abdul Aziz won the first race in the FIA GT3 in Portugal.
He is also known as the first Saudi to have participated in a GT3 European championship race. He won the championship.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dr. Badr Al-Shibani, founder and CEO of Kai Holding

21/02/20

Dr. Badr Al-Shibani

Dr. Badr Al-Shibani is the founder and CEO of Jeddah-based Kai Holding, which was founded in January 2005. He is responsible for business development and strategic direction at the group and its subsidiaries.

He is also the chairman of Hadath group, which was established in March 2007. It provides diverse and innovative management and marketing solutions to its target market in the Gulf region.

Al-Shibani is known for his ability to penetrate new markets, generating sales and providing solutions for the group’s businesses. In 2013, he was selected as one of the most inspiring Saudi leaders in the business world by Forbes Middle East. He was chosen to relay the historic Olympic torch in London Olympics in 2012.

He has a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical science from King Saud University in Riyadh. Al-Shibani did an MBA in 2011 at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the US.

He is an author, executive coach and motivational speaker.

Al-Shibani, who was interviewed by Arab News earlier this year, describes himself as a life-seeker. His passion for adventure started 15 years ago, when he made a bucket list that included reaching the summits of the world’s highest seven mountains, jumping out of a plane, diving into the deepest cave, and visiting an active volcano.

He traveled to Nicaragua to see its famous Masaya lake of molten lava, which was formed during an eruption 2,500 years ago. The “lake” is in a volcanic vent and, with expert help, Al-Shibani was able to hang above it. He recently reached the top of Aconcagua mountain in Argentina.

His Twitter handle is: @jebadr.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Prof. Falleh Al-Solamy, president of Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid University

Time: 24 January, 2020

Prof. Falleh Al-Solamy
  • Al-Solamy was promoted in 2009 to be a professor at Tabuk, returning to King Abdul Aziz University in 2010
  • Al-Solamy received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Abdul Aziz University in 1992

Prof. Falleh Al-Solamy has been the president of King Khalid University in Abha since 2016.

He recently honored doctors who had won awards at an event organized by the university’s College of Dentistry.

The ceremony was held in the presence of Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shahrani, the dean of the College of Dentistry, and Dr. Nasser Al-Ahmari, who is president of the Committee of Doctors of Excellence at the college.

The awards were in acknowledgment of the doctors’ achievements based on the evaluation of the college’s scientific research committee and the faculty members who were supervising the research.

Al-Solamy received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Abdul Aziz University in 1992.

He obtained a differential geometry doctorate in 1998 from a UK institution.

He started his career in 1992 as a teaching assistant in the mathematics department at King Abdul Aziz University, staying in this role until 1994. He was later assigned as an assistant professor in the same department until 2005 before he was promoted to become an associate professor in the same department.

In 2006, Al-Solamy was made a visiting associate professor at Jazan University, and he was an associate professor between 2007 and 2009 at the University of Tabuk.

Al-Solamy was promoted in 2009 to be a professor at Tabuk, returning to King Abdul Aziz University in 2010.

This article was first published in Arab News

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