International Women´s Day 2024

Regional Webinar for the Middle East   Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress

Regional Webinar for the Middle East: Invest in Women and accelerate progress

6 March | Online | Language: Arabic

12h00 - 13h00 (UTC +1 Madrid) | 13h00 - 14h00 (UTC +2) | 14h00 - 15h00 (UTC +3)

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, UN tourism is hosting a regional webinar for the Middle East on the official theme of ‘Invest in women: accelerate progress’.

Women make up 54% of the tourism workforce but are concentrated in lower-skilled, lower-paid and often informal employment.

Even though women are faced with less opportunities for career progression, more difficulties to open a business and higher barriers to education and training – the tourism sector is brimming with empowered women and strong initiatives leading the way towards gender equality.

During this webinar series we will learn from some of the leading female voices and successful gender-equality programmes from the Middle East. In 2024 UN Tourism is saying that it is time to Invest in Women. Join us for this webinar series and leave with excellent ways on how to do just that.  


  1. Increased Awareness: Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by women in the tourism sector, leading to heightened awareness and empathy towards gender disparities. 
  2. Empowerment Through Knowledge Sharing: Attendees will learn from best practices, initiatives, and success stories shared during the seminar, empowering them with practical insights and strategies to advance gender equality in tourism. 
  3. Expanded Networks and Collaboration: The seminar will provide valuable networking opportunities for women in tourism to connect, collaborate, and build meaningful relationships with women tourism stakeholders. 
  4. Advocacy for Gender-Responsive Policies: Participants will gain insights into advocacy strategies and actionable steps to promote gender-responsive policies and initiatives within the tourism sector, driving positive change and fostering inclusivity. 
Related link
Wednesday, 6 March, 12h00 - 13h00 CET
5 min - Introductory Remarks: 

Ms. Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director for the Middle East, UN Tourism 

10 min – NTA initiatives: 

Mr. Ahmed Salah, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

10 min – Data and Statistics: 

Dr. Adla Ragab, Professor of Economics, Director of Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Arab Republic of Egypt 

10 min – Academia and training 

Ms. Noha Al-Mubaideen, Lecturer at Ammon Applied University College, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 

10 min –Business Perspective 

Ms. Rola Fayyad, Founder and CEO of Viavii 

10 min – Centre Stage programme  

Benjamin Owen, Project Manager, Centre Stage Project, Ethics Culture and Social Responsibility Department, UN Tourism 

5 min.   

Q & A session 

5 min – Closing Remarks     

Ms. Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director for the Middle East 


 Moderator: Mirhane Abdel Fattah, Senior Project Specialist, Regional Department for the Middle East, UN Tourism 


Ms. Basmah Al Mayman
Ms. Basmah Al Mayman
Regional Director for the Middle East, UN Tourism

Basmah Abdulaziz Al-Mayman is the Regional Director for the Middle East of the UN Tourism Organization, the first Saudi Regional Director within the UN system, and one of the founders of tourism in Saudi Arabia. She was the manager of the International Organizations and Committees Department and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) focusing on developing and strengthening Saudi Relations with international organizations.

In Forbes Middle East 2022 "power list", Al -Mayman occupied the 15th position among 50 businesswomen, and ranked 20th among the most powerful leaders of tourism and travel in the Middle East.  

In November 2022, Al-Mayman was chosen as an ambassador for tourism by the Arabian Travel Awards in recognition of her contribution to the Arab tourism to achieve economic and sustainable development in the Middle East region.

Basmah Al-Mayman is also the first GCC national to hold a leading position at UN Tourism and the first woman to lead the Middle East region in the history of the organization. She holds an MBA from Al Faisal University and also studied several advanced specialized courses in International Relations at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies. 

Ms. Basmah Al Mayman
Mr. Ahmed Salah Bio
Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.

Ahmed Salah is a customer-focused Senior Executive/Consultant with 35 years of world-class management, commercial and technical experience in Europe and Middle East. Ahmed’s experience spans the Private and Public Sectors. Most recent positions held include:

  • ​ Ministerial Advisor - Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities​
  • Strategic Consultant – European Union​
  • Group Chief Sourcing, Logistics and Quality Assurance Officer – Orange Jordan​
  • Group Chief Quality Assurance & Processes Officer – Orange Jordan​
  • Chief Human Resources Officer – Orange Jordan​
  • Chief Sales Officer – Orange Jordan​
  • Head of EMEA Business Management – British Telecommunications​
  • Business Systems & IT Strategy Manager – British Telecommunications​​

Ahmed is an outstanding performer with an excellent track record of achievements. Ahmed possess a comprehensive & highly-developed set of business management skills including Program Management, Transformation Programs, Strategy/Business Planning, Organizational Governance, Business Process Re-engineering/Optimization, Quality Management Systems, Customer Experience/Voice of Customer, Performance Management, HR Management, Procurement, Logistics, , Internal Audits, Project Management etc. ​ 

Ahmed is fluent in English and Arabic with considerable experience of Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region including UK, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Morocco, Malta and Zimbabwe, plus consultancies with international organizations including the European Union, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO). Ahmed also served as member of the Board of Directors for a number of organizations.​

Ahmed is the author of the book “Holistic Business Excellence Model”.​

Ahmed holds dual nationalities (Jordanian & British).​

Dr. Adla Ragab
Professor of Economics, Director of Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Egypt

Dr. Adla Ragab is Professor of Economics, Director of Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies CEFRS and Coordinator of Migration Research Unit MRU in 2021 at Faculty of Economics and Political Science FEPS, Cairo University. Nominated as the first woman to be a Chairperson of Misr Travel in July 2019, She was also the Vice Dean for Community Services and Environment Development. She has  more than 25 years of experience in Research, Training and Awareness and over 15 years in providing consultancy in the field of Transport, Airports, Travel and Tourism Economics & Statistics.  

She was nominated the first Vice Minister of Tourism in 2017, after being since 2006 the Economic Advisor to the Minister of Tourism. Dr. Adla Ragab also served as the delegate of Egypt in UN Tourism Statistics Committee.  

She is also member of the Egyptian Saudi Business Council, Board Member of Tourism and Antiquities Fund, and Member of the General Assembly of Egyptair.

Member of Council of Culture and Knowledge, Academy of Scientific Research& Technology.

Ms. Noha Al-Mubaideen
Lecturer, Ammon Applied University College, Jordan

Noha Saleh Mubaideen is a lecturer, trainer, and consultant with around 22 years of experience in tourism, youth development, education, and training associated with graduates and undergraduates participants. Since October 2001 she is full-time lecturer and trainer, tour guiding program coordinator at Ammon Applied University College (AAUC). Among her main activities, she is preparing with a team of AAUC members all the requirements for getting the UN Tourism TedQual Certification, she is team leader in the area of Global Code of Ethics in Tourism (GCET) and she is part of the team of AAUC staff to mobilize Gender Equality Practices under the UN Women Gender Equity Seal “GES”. Noha Saleh Mubaideen was also certified trainer by UN Tourism for the Center Stage project - Women Empowerment in 2022. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts, Archaeology from the University of Jordan.

Ms. Rola Fayyad
Founder and CEO of Viavii

Rola Fayyad is the founder & CEO of ViaVii, with over a decade of commercial management experience in the travel industry. The company, ViaVii, is an AI powered platform that connects people with unique and authentic experiences led by locals and passionate people. Rola naturally fell into leadership roles as she previously co-founded MICEit, which is an event-booking engine for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Furthermore, she was a founding member for Girls in Tech – Jordan Chapter, which focuses on empowering, engaging and educating women in the technology sector. Rola is also a fellow with Open Hands Fellowship & IVLP US State program.

Ben Owen
Ben Owen
Project Manager, Centre Stage Project, Ethics Culture and Social Responsibility Department, UN Tourism

Ben is a senior project specialist responsible for gender equality initiatives in UN Tourism's Ethics Culture and Social Responsibility department. Ben coordinated the Global Report on Women in Tourism, Second Edition and is currently the project manager of the Centre Stage programme. Ben has extensive experience working on equality projects and initiatives affecting a range of disadvantaged groups. Before joining UN Tourism, Ben worked at the European Parliament on the Transport and Tourism Committee and the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee. Ben has a BA Hons in International Relations from the University of Leeds.


Mirhane Abdel Fattah
Mirhane Abdel Fattah
Senior Project Specialist, Regional Department for the Middle East, UN Tourism

Mirhane Abdel Fattah is a Senior Project Specialist in the Regional Department for the Middle East at UN Tourism Organization since 2017.  

She served at the Ministry of Tourism of the Arab Republic of Egypt for 15 years. The latest position she occupied was Minister’s Associate for Tourism from 2014-2016.  

Within her work in the UN TOURISM, she gained an extensive experience working in the Middle East, playing an active role in the implementation of the Programme of work and specifically in the Women Empowerment file. She collaborated in the revision of the Regional Report on Women in Tourism in the Middle East published in 2020, and collaborated with the UN TOURISM team to the successful implementation of the Centre Stage Project in 2022 Jordan through Online and on site-workshops.  

Mirhane holds a master’s degree in Arabic/French Interpretation and Translation from Ain Shams University in Cairo, and she received several certificates in Leadership, Management, Tourism Promotion and Marketing, Tourism Management and Strategic Planning.