FaceOf: Hattan Ahmed, head of Entrepreneurship Center at KSA’s KAUST

Updated 14 February 2019
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FaceOf: Hattan Ahmed, head of Entrepreneurship Center at KSA’s KAUST

  • Hattan Ahmed has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Alabama
  • Prior to his current post, he served as a startup development officer at KAUST from 2013 through 2017

Hattan Ahmed heads the Entrepreneurship Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he supports and mentors existing startups and potential new ones across the Kingdom. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Alabama.

After working as a business system analyst with Saudi Aramco from 2003 to 2007, he earned his MBA in business administration from the University of Leeds.

Prior to his current post, he served as a startup development officer at KAUST from 2013 through 2017, and has won international awards.

Ahmed has also worked as a research portfolio specialist and has experience in software development, obtaining qualifications in key platforms such as SAP and SharePoint.

He believes in young people as change agents of the future, and that universities play a key role in creating national economic impact.

KAUST is currently hosting a boot camp to develop pilgrim services for Hajj and Umrah. Up to 80 people are taking part in the event, which runs from Feb. 13 to 21.

He said it was the second annual collaboration with the Makkah governorate and one of KAUST’s outreach partnerships. It was also a key program in advancing entrepreneurship in the Kingdom aligned with the goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan, he added. “There are some great ideas emerging and we look forward to providing ongoing mentoring and support to the startup founders,” he told Arab News.


Bassam Ghulman, deputy minister at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Updated 6 min 12 sec ago
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Bassam Ghulman, deputy minister at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Bassam Ghulman has been deputy minister for transportation affairs at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah since February 2018.

Previously, he was general manager of the Haramain High-Speed Rail Project, which links the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

He was also a professor of contracts and construction project management at Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah.

He first joined the university as an assistant lecturer in 1994, and held several positions there, including head of the civil engineering department.

Ghulman serves as vice chairman of the board of the Saudi Council of Engineers. He was an adviser to the secretary of Makkah, having first joined the municipality there as an assistant civil engineer in 1991.

Ghulman holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Umm Al-Qura University. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Oklahoma in the US.

He has participated in local, regional and international events and conferences, and has published numerous academic papers and books.

Ghulman is a member of several government committees, including the advisory board for development in the Makkah region.

He recently met with members of the transport sector at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to discuss early preparations for this year’s season.

Ghulman said the meeting was in line with the ministry’s vision to improve and develop services to transport pilgrims to holy sites.