Pilgrims from all over the world are returning to their
respective home countries with stories about a comfortable Haj experience. It
seems our developers in the Kingdom are feeling inspired by the marvels in the
neighboring GCC countries, such as the 800-meter tall towers and palm shaped
islands. The Kingdom is now focused on the development of the vision of
Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
We at The KIN Consortium are studying the feasibility of the
growing list of over 603 projects currently slated for 2011 that includes
infrastructure, agriculture, utilities, mining, real estate development,
education, and the list goes on. As a financier I am particularly excited about
the projects in the Western region, simply because it has earned revenue on a
consistent basis from Islamic tourism for over 1,432 years.
Another historical fact is that when millions of pilgrims
arrive on an annual basis there is a flood of flu epidemics, and sales of
pharmaceuticals tend to escalate along with visits to physicians and hospitals.
This trend in particular is the focus of this article. King Abdullah's vision
encompasses a series of state of the art facilities ranging from manufacturing
to distribution outlets. In terms of the best government sponsored hospitals
and private sector hospitals in Jeddah, we find both the King Fahad Armed
Forces Hospital and the prominent Dr. Walid Fitaihi's International Medical
On the other hand, in terms of the pharmaceutical
manufacturing sector we find manufacturers of both brand name and generic
pharmaceuticals. The Saudi Pharmaceutical Industry & Med. Appliances Corp.
is just one of the companies in the Kingdom that is leading the charge to both
importing and producing pharmaceutical goods and equipment. These are all vital
components to building a self-sufficient vertically integrated healthcare
system. It seems that all that is left is the engineering and building of the
diagnostic materials like Siemens and Toshiba, which I am sure are all slated
as a part of the comprehensive vision.
However, in an attempt to build a complete end-to-end
solution, King Abdullah has invested in human capital by offering medical
students scholarships to both the US and Canada. The young students are lucky
to be sponsored to attend the best training at universities like George
Washington and McGill. It is this type of hands on experience with the latest
technologies and methods that will build the platform for the Saudi state of
the art healthcare program. The Kingdom will combine both spiritual healing and
Welcome to the evolution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
(Khalid I. Natto ([email protected]) is chairman
& CEO of The KIN Consortium.)