FaceOf: Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayash, Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister for defense

Assistant Defense Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayash
Updated 09 September 2018

FaceOf: Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayash, Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister for defense

JEDDAH: Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayash has been Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister for defense since his appointment in May 2014.

Previously, a royal decree was issued in 2010 appointing him commander-in-chief of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) until he retired in 2013.

Al-Ayash, from Dumat Al-Jandal in Al-Jouf region, was born in 1952. He joined the RSAF in 1970 and graduated from King Faisal Air Force as a pilot in 1972. He was appointed as a pilot officer on F15 fighter aircraft in the same year.

In 1974, he was appointed pilot officer in the 13th Squadron on Lightning Interceptor aircraft. In 1982, he became a pilot officer in the 13th Squadron flying F15s. Al-Ayash attended an instructor pilot and weapons instructor course on Lightning aircraft in the UK in 1978.

In addition, he attended an initial qualification and instructor pilot course on F15s in the US in 1981, and another course at the Air War College in Alabama at Maxwell Air Force Command in 1994. 

Al-Ayash holds a bachelor’s degree in air science from King Faisal Air Academy, and a master’s degree in military science from Staff College in Riyadh. 

He also served as the director of the Plans and Operations Department at RSAF Command, the commander of King Khalid Air Base, chief of RSAF operations, and deputy commander of the RSAF, respectively. 

Al-Ayash has received several military medals, including King Abdul Aziz Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Legion of Merit from France, the First Class Military Medal for Respect, and a Bronze Star from the US. 

He recently visited to Australia at the invitation of Christopher Pyne, the Australian defense minister. The two men discussed bilateral relations and areas of common interest. 

The meeting was also attended by Saudi Arabian ambassador to Australia, Musaed bin Ibrahim Al-Saleem, and several officials.


UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

Updated 23 September 2018

UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

DUBAI: The celebratory mood to mark Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day has reached as far as New York, with Nasdaq displaying images of the Kingdom’s rulers at its tower on Times Square in New York while Dubai carrier Emirates is pulling out all the stops to join in the festivities.

The Dubai airline operated a special one-off A380 service, known as EK 813 and EK 814, on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30pm. The return flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50pm.

A YouTube video from Emirates also showed crew handing out scarves embroidered with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers while boarding the A380 aircraft.


Nasdaq Dubai, the UAE-based operations of the New York equities exchange, posted: “Best wishes from #NasdaqDubai to #SaudiArabia on the occasion of the 88th National day” in its Twitter account, along with photos containing images of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed being projected on a huge electronic billboard. A separate tweet also showed an 11-second video with the merged UAE and Saudi Arabian flags fluttering on the billboard.



Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, will be illuminated in the national flag of Saudi Arabia, in a display of friendship between the UAE and its Gulf neighbor.

In the UAE’s capital, the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police decorated 88 of their cars – one for every year being celebrated – with the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the words “Together Forever.”

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways’ Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, the only Saudi National A380 pilot in the world, together with Captain Ahmed Almalood from the UAE, flew the A380 Year of Zayed aircraft to Jeddah for a special one-off service to mark the event.