The MEADFA Conference 2021
Basmah Al-MaymanDirector, UNWTO Regional Department for the Middle East

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Basmah Abdulaziz Al-Mayman has served as Regional Director for the Middle East at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since November 2018. With over 17 years of experience in the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), Ms Al-Mayman was the manager of the International Organizations & Committees Department and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) focal point. As one of the founders of tourism in Saudi Arabia, Al-Mayman focused on developing and strengthening Saudi relations with international organizations such as United Nations (UN) agencies and World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, as well as other international organizations and stakeholders in the fields of tourism, heritage, museums, antiquities, and built heritage. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors of The UNWTO Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty Initiative for the Middle East Region and was a founding member of the Program and Budget Committee of the Executive Council of the same region.

Forbes Middle East published a 2020 “power list” ranking 100 leading businesswomen, with Ms Al-Mayman ranking 13th and the only woman representing tourism in the Arab world. She is also the first GCC national to hold a leading position at the UNWTO and the first woman to lead the Middle East region in the history of this international organization.

Ms Al-Mayman holds a Bachelor degree in English Literature and Linguistics from King Saud University, an MBA from Al Faisal University, in cooperation with the University of Oxford, where she studied Entrepreneurship and Comparative Managerial Issues. She also studied several advanced specialized courses in International Relations, International law, Economic and Diplomatic affairs at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies at the Foreign Ministry in Saudi Arabia. She is fluent in both Arabic and English.