FaceOf: Tariq Al-Essa, CEO of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau

Tariq Al-Essa is the CEO of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB)
Updated 07 June 2018
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FaceOf: Tariq Al-Essa, CEO of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau

  • Al-Essa discussed the growth of the Saudi meetings industry in comparison to neighbors such as the UAE, specifically the potential in cities such as Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province

Tariq Al-Essa is the CEO of the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB). As CEO, he is tasked with developing and implementing efficient and transparent licensing policies with the goal of encouraging investments in the Kingdom’s exhibition and convention sector by providing suitable options for the organization of large, high-quality events.

Speaking at a recent conference in Riyadh, Al-Essa discussed the growth of the Saudi meetings industry in comparison to neighbors such as the UAE, specifically the potential in cities such as Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province. 

“In terms of numbers of business events or the size of industry, Saudi demand and supply on the meetings industry is much bigger and stable with high potential powered by Saudi Vision 2030,” he said. 

In 2002, after completing his bachelor of science degree in systems engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Al-Essa earned his professional diploma in business administration from Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004.  

Al-Essa then gained work experience as a researcher with the National Tourism and Information and Research Center, as well as a part-time instructor at Al-Yamamah University teaching elective courses in “Principles of Event Management.”

 In 2008, Al-Essa continued his higher education at the University of Technology, Sydney, earning his graduate diploma as well as his masters in event management by 2011.

Before becoming executive director at SECB, Al-Essa worked at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage from 2005 to 2013 in the department of product development as a senior tourism and programs specialist.

Since 2013, he has been actively leading the promoting of the Kingdom as a viable host for regional and international exhibitions and conventions.


PWD-friendly infrastructure rebuilds completed in Two Holy Cities, Saudi Arabia tells UN

Updated 22 March 2019
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PWD-friendly infrastructure rebuilds completed in Two Holy Cities, Saudi Arabia tells UN

  • Infrastructure upgrades included public transport facilities
  • Centers for disability rehabilitation are growing across the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Major infrastructure rebuilds to aid disabled people have been completed in Makkah and Madinah, the United Nations heard on Thursday.

Dr. Bandar Al-Aiban, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC), made the announcement in Geneva during the 21st session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He said that the move came as part of a wider range of programs aimed at empowering the disabled in Saudi Arabia, to provide them with a suitable education, tools and the employment opportunities to ensure their independence and maintain a good quality of life. 

He added that the infrastructure updates included public transport facilities that were disability friendly, and easy access to government buildings and important historical and religious sites across the two cities.

“The Saudi government is keen to serve the Two Holy Mosques and other holy sites, and harness the necessary resources to serve pilgrims, and this includes the completion of major infrastructure targets that take into account the needs of people with disabilities,” Al-Aiban said.

“The government’s financial support for associations and NGOs for people with disabilities amounted to more than SR70 million ($18.7 million) in 2018. People with disabilities are also members of the Shoura Council, and hold leadership positions in various sectors. 

He also mentioned the recent establishment of the Saudi Commission for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs, noting the growing number of centers for disability rehabilitation across the country, and the exemplary standards they set for disabled services in the Gulf.