TheFace: Esra Albuti, Saudi tax specialist

Esra Albuti. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 28 December 2018
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TheFace: Esra Albuti, Saudi tax specialist

  • I was delighted to be the first female tax specialist accepted by the firm in Saudi Arabia

Esra Albuti: A life in numbers They say sons usually follow in their father’s footsteps. That wasn’t the case in my family. Instead, it was me that followed in my father’s footsteps — I am currently the youngest director in Ernst and Young’s Riyadh office — and I couldn’t be prouder.
Growing up in a family of six children (I was the second-youngest), I always looked up to my father who is a Certified Public Accountant and gained both his masters and Ph.D. in accounting from the US.
I fell in love with numbers and accounting as a child. I grew up reading my father’s CPA books. My dream started to take shape and I was determined to achieve it. I graduated from high school with a high GPA and enrolled in the School of Business at King Saud University, majoring in accounting. Maybe I should have studied computer science, given that accountants are seen by many as simply “cashiers.” However, my family made me realize that it is better to be a happy cashier than to listen to others and regret it.
I was a focused A+ student and made it to the Dean’s list and graduated top of my class with honors. It was at university that I first heard about Ernst and Young, one of the top accounting and auditing firms in the world. I was determined to work there.
I did have slight concerns that I could be rejected, since I graduated from a public university, but I’ve never let the word ‘no’ deter me. I saw it as a challenge to get Ernst and Young to accept me, and I was determined to meet that challenge.
I was delighted to be the first female tax specialist accepted by the firm in Saudi Arabia. Although working in an all-male environment was initially challenging, the support of my family and the firm, combined with my work ethic, enabled me to gain the trust of my colleagues and of the company as a whole.
I feel proud that, through my career, I am giving back to my country and the next generation of females by encouraging and hiring Saudi female students to join this practice and by raising awareness of specializing in such a unique industry as taxes. I was honored to be the first female manager in Saudi Arabia in all of EY’s service lines.
I was also so proud to be nominated to become the first Saudi female partner specializing in tax for EY in Saudi Arabia. That’s been my dream since I joined the company. I am still ambitious and always looking for new challenges. I believe that there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.
In my spare time, I enjoy to drawing and painting. I find it relieves stress. I have put many of my paintings up at home. I also enjoy traveling, particularly to London. I spent a year in EY’s London office, and I grew to love the city for what it really is.
I’m also a part-time instructor — I teach tax and zakat classes in universities. I love teaching the younger generation and helping them practice this unique subject. I’m happy and proud that I’m able to inspire my students to specialize in taxes and to join EY.


Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah Gas Plant (UGP) has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a “Lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a leader in technology applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
Saudi Aramco is the first energy company globally to be included in this select group of manufacturing sites. The plant is also the only facility in the Middle East to be recognized by WEF. 
The announcement was made ahead of WEFs annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The gas plant is one of the world’s largest gas processing plants and was commissioned in 1981 as part of Saudi Aramco’s Master Gas System to process associated gas from oil wells. 
The use of drones and wearable technologies to inspect pipelines and machinery has helped cut inspection time by 90% in this industrial facility.
“The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Uthmaniyah is only one part of our large integrated energy value chain where IR 4.0 technologies are playing a critical role to enable significant capital and operational efficiencies,” said Amin H. Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco.
The seven new facilities join nine other “Manufacturing Lighthouses” which WEF unveiled in September 2018. The 16 factories were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of cutting-edge technologies of the future that drive financial and operational impact.
The “Lighthouse” program was conducted by WEF in collaboration with McKinsey during a year-long study. A study team visited UGP in Saudi Arabia and performed a thorough audit.