Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah
Updated 11 July 2019

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah has been the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and an adviser to its minister, since February 2019.

Up to 25,000 Hajj pilgrims in Mina this year will be issued with wearable high-tech smart cards in a pilot program being launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The cards will store the pilgrims’ personal information, health status, residence and Hajj tour details. They will also be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina.

Al-Maddah said that it is the experimental stage of a smart Hajj initiative they are working on, and they will study to what extent it might be advantageous to the pilgrims.

Al-Maddah received his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in 2007. 

He obtained his master’s in robotics and intelligent systems from Osaka University in Japan in 2010, and a Ph.D. in 2013 from the same university.

After getting his bachelor’s, he worked for Saudi Hollandi Bank as a premises engineer until 2008. 

When he concluded his education in Japan, he joined the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) as a research associate from 2013 to 2014.

Al-Maddah then joined KAU as an assistant professor. He continues to teach in the electrical engineering department, while also acting as a consultant to the university vice president for business and cognitive creativity. In 2015, Al-Maddah became director of KAU’s business incubators until March 2016.


Cinema investment in Saudi Arabia set to hit SR5bn in 2020

Updated 28 January 2020

Cinema investment in Saudi Arabia set to hit SR5bn in 2020

  • Saudi conference study reveals 140 cinemas planned for Kingdom creating estimated 5,300 jobs
  • One of the main goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan was to increase household spending on domestic entertainment from 2.9 percent to 6 percent of total expenditure

RIYADH: Investment in building new cinemas in Saudi Arabia was expected to top SR5 billion ($1.33 billion) during 2020, according to latest figures.

Data published ahead of the Cinema Build KSA 2020 conference, taking place at the Fairmont hotel in Riyadh on Feb. 19 to 20, revealed that 140 movie theaters were planned to open in 30 malls throughout the Kingdom, creating more than 5,300 job opportunities.

The Saudi cinema industry would see enormous growth and was set to become the leader in the region having already gained attention from stakeholders around the globe, research from conference partner Great Minds Group predicted.

With a total of 1,323 screens planned for the country, demand for materials and resources to build cinemas has increased dramatically.

The Cinema Build KSA report revealed that an estimated 158,760 cinema seats and more than 5,953,500 square feet of carpet would be required to realize this year’s growth plans, in addition to more than 18,852,750 square feet of gypsum boards, wall panels, and specialist ceiling materials and 1,250 air-handling units.

One of the main goals of the Vision 2030 reform plan was to increase household spending on domestic entertainment from 2.9 percent to 6 percent of total expenditure, considering that Saudi nationals spent about $30 billion annually on tourism and entertainment outside the Kingdom.

Supporting and enhancing the fast-growing cinema sector would not only recover Saudi investments abroad but would also create more than 5,314 job opportunities in 2020 in the Saudi market, according to the Cinema Build KSA report.

The Saudi cinema industry was predicted to see enormous growth and being the largest gathering of cinema stakeholders in the Kingdom, Cinema Build KSA 2020 aims to serve as a learning center for building world-class film theaters.

The event is organized by Eyes of Cities in association with the Great Minds Group. Boasting more than 300 attendees, at least 30 sponsors and exhibitors, and 25 international speakers, the second annual conference will cover a broader aspect of the burgeoning cinema industry in the Kingdom.