Saudi Arabian Military Industries concludes Washington conference focusing on development of defense systems for Vision 2030

Updated 26 March 2018

Saudi Arabian Military Industries concludes Washington conference focusing on development of defense systems for Vision 2030

WASHINGTON: The Defense and Security Technology Conference organized by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries company (SAMI),in Washington, DC, has concluded its meetings after participants discussed “the development of the defense system,” and how this contributes to the achievement of the ambitious “Vision 2030” plan.
The conference was organized in cooperation with the US-Saudi Business Council under the theme “Fortifying Partnerships, Achieving Value,” and the participation of top speakers and more than 100 experts, specialists and consultants who exchanged views on Saudi Arabia’s strategic vision regarding the future of its defense industry. Technology and security were top items on the conference agenda, which took place amid the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US.
The conference was inaugurated by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SAMI, Ahmed Khatib, who stressed the importance of the gathering and the issues under discussion. The conference included three sessions and an additional extraordinary session with the participation of Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi, Minister of Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khaled Al-Falih, and Ahmed Khatib.
The second session was attended by Dr. Andreas Schwer, CEO at SAMI; Leanne Caret, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS), Kurt Amend, CEO of Raytheon Saudi Arabia; and Colin Mahoney, Senior Vice President of the Global Solutions and Services Unit at Rockwell Collins. Participants deliberated ways to create a value chain for a sustainable future, discussed the important progress achieved by Saudi Arabia and ways to develop the Saudi-US relations to even higher levels.
The conference final session was entitled “Strategic Outlook and the Road Map,” and was moderated by John Hamri, CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and featured a prominent lineup of panelists, including Mohammed Al-Athel, Secretary General of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI); Kenneth J. Krieg, Former Undersecretary for Defense and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (ATand L); and Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, Former Chair of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).
The SAMI is a state-owned military company launched in May 2017 by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). It provides military products and services and aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products. SAMI hopes to contribute about $3.7 billion to the Saudi economy by 2030, and aims to invest about $1.6 billion in research and development, creating nearly 40,000 jobs for Saudi nationals.


TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

Updated 24 January 2020

TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

  • I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them
  • I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh

For nine years, I was the only child in my family. My father was a very independent, strong character and I learned a lot from him.

Having started from zero, he taught me to work hard, seek perfection and always believe that anything was possible if you set your mind to it. 

My mother was very easy going and encouraging. She really believed in me and was always supportive. There was a balance at home for me with these two different characters.

Some people might think that being an only child for quite some time, I was spoiled and dependent. But that was never the case and I have an amazing relationship with my little sister Maha; she is my best friend.

My father works in pharmaceuticals and is chairman of the board of directors at Al-Dawaa Medical Services.

My mother was a schoolteacher before entering the world of business, and my sister is a chemical engineer. Though we are a very diverse family, we all have an appreciation for art which is evident in our household. My mother is an artist and art collector too.

I do not have a role model; there are many people I look up to in the business world and in my social life. 

I studied software engineering and worked in that field for almost a year, but although I learnt a lot I wanted more from my career. Software engineering made me think and solve problems in a different way and it played a major role in how I operate in the field of business.

I worked at Al-Dawaa for almost two years and found that I was more attracted to business and marketing than the technical side of things. That is when I decided to take on the family business, Waleed Al-Jaafari Establishment.

I run PIECES, a retail store I founded in Alkhobar in 2012 and later opened a branch in Riyadh in 2014. Now, we are working to make it an online business too.

I noticed that there was a demand in the Kingdom for custom-made furniture, and although some stores offered the service there was little choice. So, I decided to provide high-quality furniture made in Saudi Arabia.

In 2015 I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh. My father has other branches dealing with different fields, but I opted to run the retail store and woodwork services. 

I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them. Once you realize that there are no limits, all doors will open for you.