Former Jeddah Mayor Appointed Labor Minister Following the Death of H.E. Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi

Former Labor Minister Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi died, following a prolonged battle with cancer. Photo courtesy of Gulf News.
Former Jeddah Mayor H.E. Eng. Adel Fakieh was appointed by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, as the new Minister of Labor on August 18, 2010, following the death of H.E. Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi. Dr. Al-Gosaibi died at the age of 70 on August 15, 2010 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Eng. Fakieh will continue the efforts of Dr. Al-Gosaibi, who faced the challenge of lowering the unemployment rate of the Kingdom, where 34.5 percent of the population is under the age of 15. During his time as Labor Minister, Dr. Al-Gosaibi championed the national strategy of Saudization and worked to encourage private firms to employ a higher percentage of Saudi nationals.

Dr. Al-Gosaibi worked to break the cultural hesitations surrounding jobs typically held by foreign workers. In 2008, he famously illustrated his point when he served hamburgers for three hours at a fast food restaurant in Jeddah.

In addition to his efforts as Labor Minister, Dr. Al-Gosaibi was well-known for his outspokenness on social issues. He authored more than 60 books, including compilations of poetry and essays.

Prior to becoming Labor Minister in 2005, Dr. Al-Gosaibi held many other positions in the Saudi Government. He served as Minister of Industry and Electricity from 1975-1982, Minister of Health from 1982-1984, and Minister of Water from 2002-2005. From 1984-1992 he was the Saudi Ambassador to Bahrain and the Ambassador to the U.K. from 1992-2002.

Dr. Al-Gosaibi was born in 1940 in Hofuf in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom. He received a law degree from the University of Cairo in 1961 and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1964. He earned a doctorate in Law from the University of London in 1970.

Throughout his career, Dr. Al-Gosaibi also served as Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Head of Political Science at King Saud University, Director of the Saudi Railways Organization, Chairman of the Jubail Petrochemical Company, and Chairman of the Yanbu Petrochemical Company. He also played an instrumental role in the formation of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.

Dr. Al-Gosaibi was an important political figure in Saudi Arabia, but perhaps he will be most remembered for his wit and humor, along with his determination to address issues of concern for so many Saudi people.

Eng. Fakieh’s prominence in the Jeddah business community will serve to prepare him for his new role as Labor Minister. He is Chairman of Savola Group Company and is a Member of the Makkah Provincial Council, Jeddah Council, and Jeddah Municipal Council.

His previous positions include Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of the Bank Al Jazira, Member of the Board of Directors of the Hail Development Authority, Member of the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, and Member of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

Hani bin Muhammad Aburas, former Undersecretary for Services at Jeddah Mayoralty, will replace Mr. Fakieh as Mayor of Jeddah.

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