Saudi traveler completes walking tour of Gulf

Nasser Al-Qahtani
Updated 25 February 2017
0

Saudi traveler completes walking tour of Gulf

RIYADH: Saudi traveler Nasser Al-Qahtani has finally ended a long journey which involved walking to the capitals of all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Al-Qahtani’s trip began in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, and saw him walk to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in several stages. The last stage of the tour ended at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the GCC in Riyadh.
In a statement reported by the Makkah newspaper, Al-Qahtani said he began to think and prepare for the trip a long time ago. It involved visiting the most prominent and historical GCC sights, and meeting with members of the community to familiarize them with his trip and its goals. His aim was also to promote a culture of walking in Gulf societies.
Al-Qahtani noted that he received a warm welcome, support, and hospitality from official authorities across the GCC states and members of GCC communities.
The trip covered a distance of 1,900 kilometers, allowing Al-Qahtani to visit Gulf capitals over a period of 28.5 days. He traveled an average of 50-80 kilometers per day, visiting historical and heritage tourist sites along the way.
He said he was also honored to meet with ministers in GCC states and Saudi ambassadors across the GCC. He especially thanked Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, for his support of the initiative.
Al-Qahtani said he aimed to encourage unity between members of the GCC. He also promoted the slogan “do not leave an impact,” which aimed to promote awareness about the importance of protecting the environment in general, and tourist sites in particular.
The trips were taken separately, with routes including the Eastern Province to Kuwait, and the Al-Bathaa District Mosque in Riyadh to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Al-Qahtani said he is currently looking to create a book that documents his journey to the Gulf states.
He is also planning to complete his trip by foot to the Kingdom’s different cities and governorates. He has visited nine different areas in the Kingdom 26 times, including four trips to perform Haj.
He is the process of visiting other areas soon, as well as visiting the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to cover the Arabian Peninsula.


FaceOf: Homam Hashem, CEO of Saudi Arabia's Kafalah Fund

Homam Hashem
Updated 49 min 26 sec ago
0

FaceOf: Homam Hashem, CEO of Saudi Arabia's Kafalah Fund

  • Hashem studied computer information systems, receiving his bachelor’s degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 1992
  • He began his career in 1993 as a systems analyst and programmer at the head office of the Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh

Homam Hashem is the chief executive officer at the Kafalah Fund, a financing guarantee program for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

On Saudi’s 88th National Day, Hashem elaborated on the importance of the Kafalah Fund and how supporting SMEs contributes to the economic reform of the Kingdom in accordance with Vision 2030. 

He said: “One of the main objectives of Vision 2030 is to increase the contribution of the SME private sector to 35 percent of GDP.” He pointed out that small and medium enterprises play an important role in raising financing opportunities and pave the ways to success.

Hashem studied computer information systems, receiving his bachelor’s degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 1992. He also holds a diploma in banking operation management from the Institute of Public Administration.

He began his career in 1993 as a systems analyst and programmer at the head office of the Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh. A year later, he joined Samba Financial Group as a credit MIS senior manager for four years before moving on to Al-Rajhi Bank to occupy another senior manager post.

Hashem then spent five years simultaneously working for the Arab National Bank as a cards credit cycle manager, and Visa as a risk adviser. From there, he became Al-Yusr Leasing and Financing’s chief operations officer from 2005 to 2013. 

In 2015, he served as chief operations officer at Tayseer Arabian Co. before returning to Al-Yusr as chief credit and collection director.

He served as a board member at Al-Farasha Financial Services and the engineering solutions company ATMATA.