FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018

FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.


Swarm of drones to light up AlUla’s skies as part of aerial art display

Updated 46 min 46 sec ago

Swarm of drones to light up AlUla’s skies as part of aerial art display

  • International artwork explores links between nature, technology and humanity at Saudi festival

ALULA: A swarm of drones will light up the skies over AlUla during a spectacular international artistic display as part of the Winter at Tantora festival.

The aerial presentation by Franchise Freedom, a performance arts initiative created by Studio Drift, explores the relationship between humanity, nature and technology.

Formed from an autonomously flying swarm of hundreds of drones, based on research into the flight behavior of starlings, the work aims to question the concept of freedom and social construct.

Underlining the harmony between humans and their surroundings, the artistic display, which runs until Feb. 28, uses the sky as its canvas to poetically illustrate how an individual can remain free, while operating within the safety of a community.

Through a variety of international events, the Winter at Tantora festival, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), seeks to highlight culture and heritage.

Noura Al-Dabal, the RCU’s culture and arts manager, said: “Winter at Tantora strives to keep pace with the evolution of humanity and the mix between the arts and technical development that the world has seen today, while preserving the heritage of AlUla.

“Franchise Freedom is a living embodiment of this goal and we are proud to host this distinguished international artwork in AlUla.”

Over the course of 12 weeks, the festival will present a variety of activities merging Eastern and Western cultures, embodying AlUla’s heritage as a meeting point for different civilizations from around the world throughout history.

The festival takes place every weekend until March 7.