TheFace: Najla Abdullah, Saudi business leader

Najla Abdullah. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 15 November 2019

TheFace: Najla Abdullah, Saudi business leader

Najla Abdullah I am an executive member of the Young Businesswomen Council at the Asharqia Chamber. I am also a certified artist trainer and I am attending the Academy of Learning in Dammam, where I am studying public relations and media.

I have founded a number of art initiatives and projects. Art is in my blood. It is the field where I think I can inspire others and leave a good impression.

I am 32 years old, and I was born in Dhahran to a family interested in education and developing hobbies. My father studied business administration in the US while my mother specialized in geography. I am the middle child of nine —  I have four sisters and four brothers. We are a family of with a wide range of interests; my parents gave us the freedom to choose what to study, encouraging us to choose academic and career paths that would suit our personalities.

I began my elementary schooling at the Fifth Primary School before joining the Third Middle School. After that, I attended the secondary-level section of King Abdul Aziz National Schools in Alkhobar.

Following my high school graduation, I took a number of engineering, art and fashion courses before continuing my academic journey.

I am always ready to try new things. I like to experience things that may not be in my field of work — I am always seeking new information and knowledge. Whenever I finish a certain project, I’m usually already thinking about the next one.

To me, work should also mean fun. It is important that I enjoy what I’m doing. Otherwise, I’ll try a more joyful thing.

Art is in my blood. It is the field where I think I can inspire others and leave a good impression.

As an art aficionado whose job mainly relies on visual feedback and the aesthetic aspects of life, I try to shift unpleasant situations around me into something beautiful and positive that can help me. Beautiful music in my workplace, for instance, makes me more productive and creative. It can also inspire me to be more innovative.

With the generous support of the deputy governor of the Eastern Province, Prince Ahmed bin Fahd Al-Saud, and the kind help of the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), I had the chance to provide an artwork for Sharqiah Season. The project was based around illuminated boats in the sea. The idea of my project was to show visitors to the region one of the city’s landmarks. I was delighted by the appreciation from both officials and visitors. That project was an achievement I will always remember with pride.

I believe the quotes of great people who have lived before us are worth heeding — they summarize years of experience. There is a particular wise saying that really resonates with me: “Life is made of experiences. So, the end of an experience is only the end of that experience, not the end of life.” 


Saudi investment chiefs host students from one of world’s top business schools

Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi investment chiefs host students from one of world’s top business schools

  • The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) hosted business major students from Harvard Business School (HBS) for a conference held at the capital’s King Abdullah Financial District

Riyadh: Saudi mega projects and regional and global investment opportunities were outlined to students from one of the world’s top business schools at a seminar in Riyadh.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) hosted business major students from Harvard Business School (HBS) for a conference held at the capital’s King Abdullah Financial District.

As well as being introduced to the PIF, the visitors were briefed about ongoing mega projects, along with potential future investment plans both locally and throughout the world.

During their Saudi trip, some of the students took the chance to see for themselves evidence of the reforms taking place in the Kingdom by visiting Riyadh, Jeddah, and AlUla and exploring the Red Sea coast by car.

The PIF hosted the students as part of its aim of providing exposure to the broadest possible portfolio of businesses and careers while striving to be an employer of choice for top talents domestically and globally.

The fund continues to focus its commitment and dedication in providing a learning culture that promotes partnerships and training with world-class learning institutions, by actively incentivizing professional development and certifications.

HBS is an example of PIF efforts to build relationships with highly recognized learning organizations, and links in with its prestigious graduate development program to attract and develop top Saudi talent.

The study/work development program is delivered in partnership with some of the world’s top educational institutions, offering only 80 seats per application cycle. In 2019, only a fraction of the 12,000 applicants were accepted, and the PIF has attracted several Saudi HBS graduates as part of its human capital.

It is hoped that the visit to Saudi Arabia will encourage some of the HBS students to carry out their own research on the Kingdom to benefit sectors and resources such as the geology of Saudi deserts, Red Sea oceanography, and the sociology of its citizens.

By getting a close-up insight into the Kingdom it is also envisaged that students will return to the country as tourists, investors or for employment.