Envoy upbeat about Saudi Arabian Airlines plans to double flights to Maldives

Maldives Ambassador Abdullah Hameed
Updated 04 March 2017
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Envoy upbeat about Saudi Arabian Airlines plans to double flights to Maldives

RIYADH: Maldives Ambassador Abdullah Hameed has expressed optimism regarding plans by Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) to double its flights to the South Asian country from two to four weekly.
The envoy told Arab News the two additional flights would originate from Jeddah. Saudia, the Kingdom’s flagship carrier, started its bi-weekly flights to the Maldives from Riyadh at the end of March last year.
Hameed said the two additional flights would increase the number of Saudi tourists to the Maldives, a tropical island nation located just north of the equator in the Indian Ocean.
The country comprises 26 atolls that are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands, and is known for its white-sand beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs. About 200 of the islands are inhabited.
Hameed said it is encouraging to see the considerable increase in Saudi tourists. In 2015, 15,749 Saudis visited the Maldives, with a 39.5 percent increase last year to 21,944, he added.
Hameed, a veteran diplomat with more than 20 years experience in the Maldives Foreign Service, said 1.3 million tourists visited his country last year. The Maldives has a population of 393,988.
Besides Saudia, other airlines with flights to the country include Maldives Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Air India and Sri Lankan Airlines, among others.


FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.