FaceOf: Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Co.

Lubna Olayan
Updated 31 August 2018

FaceOf: Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Co.

  • Olayan is the only Saudi whose name has made it to the board and one of three women who will contribute their expertise to the Kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative
  • Her career began in 1983 under her father’s wing at Olayan Group

Lubna Olayan is the CEO of Olayan Financing Co. and is the first woman in Saudi Arabia to give a keynote opening at one of the largest conferences in the Kingdom.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Saudi Arabia has named a top-tier team of international business experts to work on the Kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII).

The event debuted in the Kingdom last year and introduced the government’s economic reform plans, focusing on hi-tech sectors, including robotics and artificial intelligence.

Olayan is the only Saudi whose name has made it to the board and one of three women who will contribute their expertise to the initiative.

Olayan was born in 1955 to a businessman and leader who founded the Olayan Group. She grew up valuing education and holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Cornell University, as well as an MBA from Indiana University.

Her career began in 1983 under her father’s wing at Olayan Group, but the two maintained a businesslike relationship in the office.

Her current role is the CEO of Olayan Financing Company, the holding entity of Olayan Group’s full operations in Saudi and the Middle East, and she also sits on the group’s board with her brother and two sisters.

In 2005 Olayan became a non-executive board director at WPP, and in the next two years, she served as an international advisory member of the board for both Rolls-Royce and Citigroup. She joined the board of INSEAD directors late in 2005 and was elected as a member in the board of trustees for Cornell University in 2007.

In 2010, she was awarded the Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year award, and Forbes listed her as the 86th most powerful woman in the world in 2014.


Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

Updated 53 min 5 sec ago

Saudi’s Qassim prepares over 200 mosques for Friday prayers

  • Volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques
  • The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier

DUBAI: Islamic authority in Qassim region have approved 205 mosques to perform Friday prayers according to new regulations, state news agency SPA reported.

The first call to prayer will be announced 20 minutes earlier, and khutbas – religious address delivered by the imam – to last at maximum for 15 minutes.

Also, volunteers will help worshipers disperse between mosques.

Mosques across the Kingdom, except for those in Makkah, have opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, May 31, as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh called on Muslims to respect ongoing safety measures inside mosques, such as bringing their own prayer mats, wearing masks and washing hands prior to entering the vicinities.

Al-Asheikh said preventative measures will remain in place to ensure a safe return of worshipers to mosques for Friday prayers from May 31 until June 20.