Launch of 2019 Study UK Alumni Awards highlights key role of Saudi students

British Consul General HM Barrie Peach, far left, said the UK and Saudi Arabia enjoy a very strong relationship. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 12 September 2018

Launch of 2019 Study UK Alumni Awards highlights key role of Saudi students

  • Saudi students a bridge for our two nations: British consul general

JEDDAH: Saudi students who study at UK universities create one of the strongest bonds between the two countries, according to British Consul General HM Barrie Peach.

Speaking exclusively to Arab News at the launch of the 2019 UK Study Alumni Awards, which he hosted at the British Consulate in Jeddah on Tuesday evening, he said: “I am delighted to welcome so many graduates from British universities to the consulate this evening.

“The UK and Saudi Arabia enjoy a very strong relationship but one of the strongest bonds that exists between our two nations is that which is created by the Saudi students who have studied at British universities. They really are a bridge for our two nations. So, over the past few years, we have sought to build networking events so that we can utilize those relationships and friendships for our mutual benefit. In doing so, we established the annual Study UK Alumni Awards.”

The awards, which are staged globally, recognize outstanding achievements by international alumni of British universities, as well as the reputations of their alma maters, to honor and celebrate the rewards and influence that can result from higher education in the UK. The 2019 Saudi event, the fourth edition in the Kingdom, is organized by the British Council and the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia. Nearly 10,000 Saudis return to the Kingdom each year after studying in the UK.

Dr. Talal A. Almaghrabi, chairman of Saudi British Marketing and Management Association, founder of MarCom Academy and winner of the entrepreneurial award 2017. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The nominees are leaders in their fields who have built on their experience of studying in the UK to have a positive effect on the world and in their communities. There is an emphasis on honoring those who develop and implement creative solutions and business opportunities with the potential for strong growth, and those with a commitment to generating positive social change and improving the lives of others. This is reflected in the three award categories: professional achievement, entrepreneurial, and social impact.

“These categories really highlight the breadth of subjects that Saudi students have studied in the UK.” said Peach.

The professional achievement category honors alumni who distinguish themselves through exemplary leadership in their industries. Prof. Turki Althubaiti was the recipient of the award this year. After earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in English literature from the University of Essex, he returned to Saudi Arabia and became a professor at Taif University, as well as establishing many educational and social outreach programs.

The 2018 entrepreneurial aware went to Dr. Abdallah Adlan, an alumni of the University of Birmingham and the University of Bradford, where he received doctorates in biomedical science and bioethics/medical ethics. He is now the head of biomedical ethics at King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre.

This year’s social impact award recipient was Dr. Nouf Alnumair, a Saudi scientist who earned  a master’s degree and doctorate from University College London, where she specialized in molecular genetics and bioinformatics – one of the first Saudis to do so. She is now continuing her research in these fields at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Other projects she is involved with include a study of hereditary bleeding disorders, in which she is a principle investigator. In addition, she is an assistant professor at Alfaisal University College of Medicine in Riyadh, where she helps to inspire a new generation of Saudi scientists.

The Study UK Alumni Awards are open to anyone living outside the UK who with the past 15 years graduated from an officially accredited UK college or university, or was awarded a full UK degree-level qualification equivalent (or higher), by a UK university through a local institution overseas. 

The finalists for the 2019 awards will be announced in January and the winners honored at a gala event in Riyadh in March. Candidates can apply themselves or be nominated by their institutions. The application process opened on September 11 and the deadlines are October 28 for institutions, November 11 for individuals.

Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

People stand on the corniche in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 8, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 September 2018

Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

  • The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built
  • The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022

JEDDAH: The Red Sea Development Co., owned by the Public Investment Fund and responsible for executing the Red Sea Project, has announced the formation of its advisory board, which includes 12 international experts in business, tourism, sustainability and environmental conservation.
The advisory board will help to develop the agenda and plan for the Red Sea Project, to develop and implement updated international criteria in environmental protection and the restoration of natural characteristics, sustainable development, innovation and luxury tourism, in the project situated on Saudi Arabia’s Western coast at a crossroad that links the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The project targets establishing an ultra-luxury tourist destination for nature, adventure, health and recreation and culture and it is considered one of the key components of Saudi Vision 2030.
John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Co., said: “Seeking these consultants to guide the company is considered an important factor to execute the project on an international level, and these experts’ experience will help us exceed the ambitious plans of Saudi Vision 2030 for the tourism sector. The advisory board members will occupy multifunctional positions while working with the board of directors of the Red Sea Development Company and its executive team, and they will advise the company’s board of directors headed by Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
“They will use their broad expertise to suggest the best practices in a number of areas and specializations, present to potential investors and partners opportunities presented by the tourism sector.”
“The advisory board members met in New York for the first time in March 2018, to discuss their initial visions for the project. Their second meeting took place in Saudi Arabia in July when the team visited the project, its unique land and maritime environmental systems, and presented their views on the strategies of development and sustainability in the project.”
Pagano added: “The advisory board will play a vital role in the development of the project. The board members’ insights and ideas were extremely valuable in the assessment of our current plan’s effectiveness. That will allow us to create a unique tourism destination for our guests and the citizens of Saudi Arabia, as we work on setting new international standards to protect, preserve, restore and provide an exceptional experience for the next generations.”
The Red Sea Development Co. was founded on May 10, 2018, as a closed joint stock company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to execute the Red Sea Project which is considered a luxury destination that brings together a beautiful landscape, adventure and culture and promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is situated along Saudi Arabia’s western coast and creates a center linking the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Red Sea Project was launched by the Chairman of the Public Fund, Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on July 31, 2017, and the company will work on developing unique treasures, along a 200km coastline and more than 50 islands and lakes, coral reefs, marine environments, mountains and inactive volcanoes, and heritage sites with the authentic Saudi hospitality.
The project’s first phase will include hotels and residential units and an airport, along with unique landmarks, all of which provide a perfect environment for partnerships with the biggest international investors. The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built.
A calculated number of visitors will be permitted to experience the place to protect the environmental system, enrich their experiences and maintain the project’s exclusive tourism destination. The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022.