Haitham Mattar

ITSC 2019 Speaker
Haitham Mattar Middle East Tourism Expert
CEO Beyond Tourism

Multi global awards winner in the Tourism & Hospitality fields, Haitham Mattar is currently Senior Advisor to the Saudi Ministry of Tourism Advising on structuring the Saudi Tourism Authority and delivering on the Saudi tourism promotion strategy.

This includes building capacity, market research and studies, delivering product development plans, tourism infrastructure plans, trade engagement and promotion plans, source market development and airlift.

As former CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority from 2015 – 2019, where he successfully repositioned Ras Al Khaimah to become one of the fastest growing destinations in the world, exceeding the target of one million visitors in the first three years, droving economic growth and winning a number of global travel awards and personal accolades.

With more than 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mattar has also held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and Hilton Worldwide.

Mattar’s cross-continent experience and valuable global insights allowed him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah’s destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and international tourism trends. He was also instrumental in the concept and delivery of globally recognized tourism demand generators in the emirate including Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zipline and the region’s first Via Ferrata.

In 2017, Mattar was elected as Vice Chair of the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members as well as being appointed as a member of the steering committee for the UNWTO 2017 International Year for Sustainable Development in Tourism.

Mattar was also named a full-time advisory board member of the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) in 2018, and an Advisory Board Member of Al Marjan Development. Mattar is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economy and was appointed in 2018 as a member of the Arabian Travel Market Advisory Board by Reed Travel Exhibitions. In August 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority joined WTTC as a member, being represented by Mattar

Named ‘Tourism Promotion CEO of the Year’ at the Global CEO Excellence Awards, Mattar was featured in the Arabian Business ‘most powerful Arabs’ list, in addition to being named ‘Leisure and Tourism CEO of the Year’ at the prestigious CEO Middle East Awards and ‘Business Leader of the Year’ at the Hospitality Excellence Awards in 2018.

A Lebanese-born American citizen and Arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Batchelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK.

Saudi Arabia begins releasing lockdown with end in four weeks

Industry News: 26th May 2020

Saudi Arabia will begin easing its coronavirus curfew from Thursday, it has been announced.

Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said the easing of restrictions will be undertaken in phases and will depend on how the spread of the virus pans out this week. 

The first phase will begin with expanding capacity to serve “critical patients” and the second will include intensifying Covid-19 tests and early detection.

Speaking a a press conference on Monday, the health minister said the Saudi people had displayed a “high amount of responsibility in practising social distancing.” 

“After five months since this pandemic started, where the global health systems faced great difficulties in dealing with it, our society has become today more aware of this virus and implementing the measures of the social distancing, as it is a new experience for all of us,” he said in remarks quoted by the Saudi Press Agency

Restrictions in place due to coronavirus, including bans on domestic travel, holding prayers in mosques, and workplace attendance in both government and private sector will be lifted, starting May 31, the statement added.

The Kingdom will reopen all mosques outside Mecca from May 31 until June 20 in one of a number of measures announced by the SPA.

From June 21, the Kingdom expects to lift the lockdown entirely and return to normal life, according to SPA.

Al Rabiah said that people should continue taking precautionary measures while leaving their homes by using face masks and hand gloves.

The Health Ministry recorded nine new deaths and 2,235 new cases of coronavirus in the Kingdom on Monday.

The new deaths have increased the Covid-19-related toll in Saudi Arabia to 399 and the total number of confirmed cases to 74,795. 

The number of recoveries has risen to 2,148, taking the total number of recovered cases to 45,668.

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely damaged the Kingdom’s plan to boost its tourism income and create new jobs. In October 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia revealed its 2030 plan aiming for 10 per cent of GDP to come from tourism within 10 years, up from 3 per cent, building on its enormous annual religious pilgrimage visitors. The Kingdom also set a target of international and domestic visits of 100 million a year by 2030, attracting significant foreign and domestic investment and creating a million jobs.

 
 

 

***

...

***