Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah

Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat
Updated 09 October 2019

Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah

  • Previously, Dr. Mashat served at several public universities
  • Dr. Mashat holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from KAU

Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat has been the Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah since his appointment in October 2017.

Previously, Dr. Mashat served at several public universities. His most recent position was the president of the University of Jeddah between June 2016 and October 2017.

Prior to that, he held several key positions at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah where he served for 11 years. His responsibilities included setting KAU’s academic and strategic planning, international and institutional accreditations, institutional research, assurance and quality assurance. He was the vice president for the development department at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah for four years between 2013 and 2016. 

Dr. Mashat was also the dean of admissions and registration and director of the information technology center at KAU. During his tenure, KAU earned a higher world ranking. Between 2004 and 2013, Dr. Mashat was a part-time consultant for the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques and was involved in the development of e-government systems.

Dr. Mashat holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from KAU, as well as master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Leeds in the UK. 

He visited the Saudi Ministry of Interior’s pavilion at GITEX Technology 2019 in Dubai on Monday. Dr. Mashat was received by Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Interior for Security Abilities Maj. Gen. Fahd bin Zarah. Mashat was briefed on the contents of the pavilion.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 53 min 11 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”