Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf, Saudi sustainability expert

Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf
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Updated 28 January 2020

Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf, Saudi sustainability expert

  • Al-Surf started his career between 2007 and 2008 as an architect with South Eagle Construction Co. Ltd. in Abha and for four months in 2015 he worked as a project manager for Hazim Consulting, in Jeddah

Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf is the regional manager and market developer at Green Business Certification Inc.
He became the first Saudi to obtain a participant sustainability certificate from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, joining a global group of less than 400 holders of the accreditation in the field of sustainability.
Al-Surf gained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 2007. During his study period at the university, he was a member of the student cultural club for one year and then joined the College of Environmental Design Club for four years carrying out several roles, including assistant club president.
In 2009 he received a graduate certificate in built environment and engineering from The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and the following year obtained a master’s degree in project management from the same university. He also gained a Ph.D. in property and planning from UQ in 2014.
Between 2013 and 2014, he was a multimedia manager and photographer in the Saudi Student Association in Brisbane, Australia.
Al-Surf started his career between 2007 and 2008 as an architect with South Eagle Construction Co. Ltd. in Abha and for four months in 2015 he worked as a project manager for Hazim Consulting, in Jeddah.
He was later appointed a programs director with the Project Management Institute - Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC). His Twitter handle is @AlsurfM.


Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

Sultan Al-Zaidi (L) and Fahad Al-Jubeir.
Updated 21 September 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

  • Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents

JEDDAH: Alkhobar municipality, along with Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company Siemens, has been hailed as a role model for management excellence and business continuity.
The municipality has been awarded international certification for its excellence in managing crises and risks under difficult circumstances, in recognition of its administrative achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quality Austria (QA) awarded Alkhobar Municipality and Siemens with ISO 22301 and ISO 9001 certificates, which are concerned with business continuity management, especially during the pandemic.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent and nongovernmental body. Its standards are internationally agreed by experts and are seen as the best way of doing something.
Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents.
Its mayor, Sultan bin Hamid Al-Zaidi, said that the municipality’s ISO achievement was in line with achieving the goals of the Eastern Province municipality. He added that the aim was to make Alkhobar a distinguished city, like other places in the province.
The Mayor of the Eastern Province, Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Jubeir, said that municipalities were keen to implement the most advanced administrative systems and provide the best services to beneficiaries.
“This comes in line with the objectives of municipal transformation, part of the National Transformation Program 2020 of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan which states that the Kingdom, with its outputs and services, should provide an international role model of quality and mastery, and raise the level of services provided by services and economic development agencies and enterprises,” Al-Jubeir told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

Business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.

He added that the municipality had launched initiatives and programs seeking to make the Eastern Province and its governorates pioneers in administrative and service qualities, as well as improving public services.
According to QA’s regional manager, Dr. Mohamed Hassan, business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.
“These instructions are then transformed into applicable programs and strategies at the amana (provincial government) level,” he wrote in an article. “Since the Eastern Province is, in this respect, the leading province in the Kingdom, the guidelines are finalized in consultation with the EP’s mayor, Fahad Al-Jubeir.”
The article gave examples of Alkhobar’s strategic emergency plans and said it had made arrangements with companies such as Al-Yamama for the prevention of damage from flash floods or storms.
It added that other public contractors, such as Nabatat, ensured that green spaces and parks in the city remained relaxing destinations for people, even on exceptionally hot summer days.
“A successful example of service digitization is the Balady software, which makes all municipality services available to citizens online. Moreover, the Balagat software offers a service in which complaints and suggestions from citizens can be reported and followed up online,” the article said. “If a complaint is not solved within 24 hours, it is automatically forwarded to the mayor of the Eastern Province, Al-Jubeir.”
The ministry’s foresight in initiating plans and preparations, the online software systems used and the high-quality standards in the municipality all helped in increasing the effectiveness of the business continuity management system.