Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis, mayor of Makkah city

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis
Updated 28 July 2019

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis, mayor of Makkah city

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwaihis has been the mayor of Makkah since February 2018.

Al-Quwaihis obtained a degree in chemical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 1978, and after graduation he worked as an engineer at the Saudi Industrial Research and Development Center.

He served as director general for projects and maintenance at the Ministry of Health in 1984, and was made an ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987.

He also served as director general of the water and sanitation department for 10 years, before becoming a royal adviser in 2001 when he was appointed to the Shoura Council.

He spent more than 11 years with the council, where he presented many projects and proposals, most notably amendments for the labor system, the Saudi real estate market system and foreign investment. He was also in charge of the proposal recommending housing allowances for state employees.

Recently, Makkah municipality announced the recruitment of more than 23,000 workers to implement its plan for this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Quwaihis said that all of the municipality’s sectors, departments, sub-municipalities and service centers were fully prepared for the Hajj, adding that over 13,000 workers are now employed by the city to ensure its overall cleanliness. In the field of environmental health, the municipality has set up teams and committees to monitor markets, food shops and restaurants.


LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 55 min 3 sec ago

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.