Mayor's Office

Press Release

100 Jobs Secured on First Day of Mayor’s Middle East Trade Mission
Additional Funds for Memorial Park Trees Also Promised



November 11, 2012 -- Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid Al-Falih committed to opening a new technology center in north Houston that will create 100 jobs, mostly scientist positions.  The commitment came during a meeting between Mayor Annise Parker and Al-Falih in Dammam, Saudi Arabia on the first day of the mayor’s 8-day Middle East trade mission sponsored by the Bilateral U.S-Arab Chamber of Commerce.  The 38-member Houston delegation is also visiting Qatar and United Arab Emirates before returning home at the end of the week.


“This proves the value of the face-to-face contact that occurs as a result of these trade missions,” said Mayor Parker.  “We have a commitment of new jobs for the Houston area. That will mean new economic investment and good salaries that will have a ripple effect in the Houston economy.”


Al-Falih also promised to double donations for drought remediation efforts at Memorial Park, expressed continued support for the Houston Marathon and announced the April 2013 Saudi Aramco board meeting will be held in Houston.  This last decision reflects the company’s high level of comfort with international operations at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport.  “Saudi Aramco senior executives now feel more welcome at Houston's IAH than at any other airport in the United State,” said Al-Falih.


“We are thrilled to welcome Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston delegation to partner with us on our third mayoral trade mission to the Middle East,” said Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce President Aida Araissi.  “We are especially proud of the American expertise that Mayor Parker and her delegates bring to the region. The meetings with senior level private and public sector leadership, networking events and site visits on our agenda already promise to make this one of the most memorable trade missions in our 17 years of hosting them.”


The Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber facilitates contact between the City of Houston and Houston based companies to establish and expand meaningful commercial relationships with prospective clients and partners in the area.  This includes working with the Houston Airport System to help retain air service to Houston from the region (Qatar Airways and Emirates Airlines), promotion of the Texas Medical Center, Houston's universities and the Houston – Abu Dhabi sister city relationship.  The chamber works in conjunction with the Greater Houston Partnership and Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote Houston as a premier location to do business or visit.