Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and board member of the Saudi Tourism Authority

Fahd Hamidaddin
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Updated 26 June 2020

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and board member of the Saudi Tourism Authority

Fahd Hamidaddin is the CEO of and board member of the Saudi Tourism Authority.

He is responsible for delivering on the authority’s mandate to build domestic and inbound visitation by developing, packaging and distributing tourism offerings in collaboration with the industry. He also oversees the development of the Visit Saudi destination brand and the monitoring of visitor experiences.

Before taking on his current role, Hamidaddin served as chief of investment, strategy and tourism marketing officer for the Saudi Ministry of Tourism. He played a leading role in launching the electronic visa and introducing the Visit Saudi brand with a global campaign that established the Kingdom as the world’s most exciting new tourism destination.

The Saudi Ministry of Tourism recently launched the “Saudi Summer” initiative in an effort to resume and promote domestic tourism activities in the Kingdom.

During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Hamidaddin said 81 percent of Saudis are unwilling to travel outside the Kingdom this summer, according to an extensive survey on tourism. The ministry is working to empower local businesses in the industry and help them overcome the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The pandemic has left people feeling stifled. Our role is to turn that feeling into something that could help them relax. People just want to breathe right now,” he said.

Previously, Hamidaddin was chief commercial officer at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) beginning in 2012. His responsibilities included the company’s marketing, corporate communications, and sustainable development groups. He also led the city’s customer experience, investment promotions, and activation, and strengthened KAEC’s strategic partnership with key media outlets to help promote it as a residential and business destination.

Before joining KAEC, Hamidaddin was chief of marketing and competitiveness at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), where he won five international awards for communications, advertising campaigns and online marketing strategy.

In addition to sitting on the board of the Saudi Tourism Authority, Hamidaddin is also a member of the board of trustees for the Prince Mohammad bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship, the board of the General Authority for Conventions and Exhibitions and several government committees.


Saudi Arabia reopens its land borders with UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain

Updated 15 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reopens its land borders with UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain

  • Commercial traffic flows unhindered as measures to curb spread of virus eased and normality returns

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s land borders with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain will reopen after a four-month closure as the Kingdom eases the pandemic’s restrictions and economic activity returns to normal.

Commercial trucks carrying goods for the Kingdom will also be allowed to enter through land ports from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states following a circular issued by Saudi Customs.

On March 7, the Kingdom announced that land border crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain would be limited to commercial trucks as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile Saudi Customs officials are taking the lead in identifying air travelers harboring COVID-19 by employing specially trained sniffer dogs.

On March 7, the Kingdom announced that land border crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain would be limited to commercial trucks as part of the government’s efforts to contain the virus spread.

The canine virus detectors are being drafted in at airports throughout the Kingdom to help pick up the scent of infected passengers. Following the resumption of international flights, customs staff in Saudi Arabia are to use the animals as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Saudi health authorities recorded 1,342 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number in the Kingdom to 281,435. The death toll rose by 35 to 2,984

Of the latest cases, 97 were in Riyadh, 56 in Makkah, 53 in Madinah and Hafr Al-Batin, and 51 in Dammam, with 40 percent of them women.

There were 34,763 active cases, with most patients in a stable condition, and 1,983 critical.

The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 243,688, with 1,635 of those being in the latest 24-hour period.