Mahmoud Abdulhadi, senior adviser at Saudi Ministry of Tourism

Mahmoud Abdulhadi, senior adviser at Saudi Ministry of Tourism
Mahmoud Abdulhadi
Short Url
Updated 08 January 2021

Mahmoud Abdulhadi, senior adviser at Saudi Ministry of Tourism

Mahmoud Abdulhadi, senior adviser at Saudi Ministry of Tourism

Mahmoud Abdulhadi recently joined the Saudi Ministry of Tourism as a senior adviser to lead its investment attraction activities in the Saudi tourism sector.

Since international tourism was opened in Saudi Arabia in 2019, it has become one of the highest growth potential sectors. It is expected to contribute 10 percent of annual GDP by 2030 — compared to 3 percent today — and create more than 1 million jobs.

Abdulhadi’s mandate to lead investment attraction activities is focused on boosting private sector investment, in line with the goals of Vision 2030 and the National Tourism Strategy.

Before working with the Ministry of Tourism, Abdulhadi spent 17 years with banking giant UBS, where he finished as CEO and head of investment banking at UBS Saudi Arabia.

During his time with UBS, Abdulhadi worked on various transactions in M&A and equity capital markets spanning multiple sectors, including infrastructure, entertainment, telecoms, energy, financial institutions, and agriculture.

Abdulhadi holds a master’s degree in manufacturing engineering and management from the University of Warwick, UK.

Abdulhadi told Arab News about his role in attracting investment to help build the tourism sector.

“The role of the ministry is to identify potential investment opportunities for both domestic and international investors and highlight what these opportunities are.

“We will make sure that we are achieving our goal of lifting the tourism offering in the Kingdom and ensuring that we are in line with the National Tourism Strategy.”


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen.

Dr. Iman Almansour, professor of epidemiology

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.