FaceOf: Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the US

Princess Reema bint Bandar
Updated 24 February 2019
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FaceOf: Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the US

  • Princess Reema was vice president of women’s affairs at the General Sports Authority since 2016
  • She has spoken publicly about the inclusion of women in the Saudi work force

Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was named ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the US by royal decree on February 23, 2019, 
Prior to her appointment, she was vice president of women’s affairs at the General Sports Authority (GSA), a position she held since 2016. She was also named president of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports in 2017 and appointed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August 2018.
Princess Reema's father was a former ambassador to the US, and she spent several years there during her youth. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University.
When she returned to Saudi Arabia in 2005, she assumed CEO positions for Al Hama LLC and Alfa International. She launched her own handbag brand, Baraboux, in 2013. She also founded the private equity fund Reemiyah and co-founded Yibreen, a women’s day spa.
Princess Reema is one of the founding members of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association in Riyadh. She is also a member of The World Bank’s Advisory Council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.
She has spoken publicly about the inclusion of women in the Saudi work force, describing the reforms as “evolution, not Westernization.”
She spoke at the Atlantic Council in Washington about the Kingdom’s efforts to tackle bigger issues than women being allowed to drive or attend football games, which she described as “quick wins.” Problems such as domestic violence demanded greater scrutiny, she said.
Princess Reema also spoke about providing women with careers in a currently male-dominated region.


Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

Updated 25 May 2019
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Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan
  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,463,259, of which 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 925,246 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 679,929 in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,185,504 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 671,356 entered by land and 108,083 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,530,855) followed by Indonesia (934,827), India (635,675), Egypt (524,728), Algeria (353,425), Yemen (323,083), Turkey (300,517), Malaysia (26,9554), Iraq (268,179) and Jordan (194,908).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.