The Duke of York’s second day in Saudi Arabia began with a call on Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih, the country’s Minister for Labour and Acting Minister of Health. Joined by officials, the two men led a discussion on bilateral healthcare cooperation, including how the UK might offer specialised training to graduates of Saudi medical schools. Minister Fakeih outlined the continuing expansion of Saudi Arabian healthcare, a field in which British companies are well-placed to provide expertise and relevant technology. They also discussed developing further links via the Kingdom’s Colleges of Excellence Programme, through which a number of UK Vocational Training Providers have been successful in winning contracts.
Next, The Duke visited the Riyadh offices of the Olayan Group, where he was briefed on the experience of Saudi women working in business. Senior female executives, including the CEO, Lubna Olayan, explained the company’s policy of increasing the number of female staff. The Duke listened with interest to their description of the challenges and rewards of cultural change in Saudi business.
The Duke had lunch at the Bin Salman Farm with HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, Secretary General of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, and a former astronaut. Prince Sultan has overseen the restoration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Diriyah, which has involved British engineering and design expertise.
Later, The Duke met representatives of the British company, TPP.
Its medical records software is widely used by the NHS, and the company is developing its activities in Saudi Arabia. In the evening, HRH attended a dinner with representatives of the Olayan Group Board.