HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) was on a short visit to Syria on Sunday 19th December 2010 with an accompanying delegation pursuant to an invitation from HE President Bashar Al Assad.
Upon his arrival at the airport HRH was greeted by Mr. Mansour Azzam, Presidential Affairs Minister and headed to the presidential palace where he was received by HE President Bashar Alassad. The President and the Prince held a private meeting and a luncheon was hosted by the President. The meeting discussions revolved around important issues and the latest developments on the regional, and international fronts, in addition to KHC’s investments in Syria, Prince Alwaleed and his accompanying delegation were bid farewell by the Presidential Affairs Minister.
Prince Alwaleed had visited Syria and met with the President on several previous occasions. In 2009, Prince Alwaleed visited Syria pursuant to an invitation from President Al Assad. Prince Alwaleed was warmly received by the Syrian President who hosted a closed luncheon in honor of the Prince.
In 2006 Prince Alwaleed was awarded the “Umayyah National Medal” by the President of Syria. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor in recognition of the Prince`s achievements. The Prince`s main investments in Syria through KHC include the Four Seasons Hotel Damascus. President Bashar Al Assad and Prince Alwaleed inaugurated the hotel in 2006. The Damascus Four Seasons Hotel cornerstone was placed in 2001. The Hotel is worth $100M. The 297 guest rooms and suites of the hotel set a new benchmark for quality and spaciousness in Damascus. Prince Alwaleed also has private investments in Syria through the media sector via Rotana Café and Rotana radio.
Prince Alwaleed`s humanitarian contributions through the Foundation that HRH chairs to Syria include the Zayzoun village in Hama which he had pledged to reconstruct in 2002 and inaugurated in May 2005. The reconstruction was to house 504 families and rebuild all damaged utility services such as electricity, telephone, and water. His Highness donated $7 million to reconstruct the village. The reconstruction included the building of streets; an elementary, intermediate, and secondary school in addition to a polyclinic, a hospital and a number of mosques.