Fouad bin Abdulsalau al-Farsy
Position: Hajj Minister
Biography: Fouad bin Abdulsalau al-Farsy has worked in a number of senior positions, including Information Minister from 1995 to 2003 and Culture Minister from 2003-05, before being appointed as Hajj Minister in February 2005.
Religious tourism makes up 43 per cent of the Saudi travel market and it a key part of the Saudi economy. Al-Farsy’s ministry acts as the Hajj coordinating body, dealing with other ministries and authorities. The ministry recently strengthened domestic regulations requiring pilgrims to carry permits.
According to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 1.7 million foreign pilgrims arrived in the kingdom in 2009 to perform the Hajj. The figure was slightly down on the previous year due to the outbreak of swine flu and the global recession.
Al-Farsy graduated from Beirut Arab University with a degree in law. He also holds a doctorate in political science from Duke University in the US.
Contact: (+966) 1557 1714