A bright future in ecotourism starts in Greenwich

Saudi Arabian alumnus Anass Alshammary talks about his career at university and beyond

Anass Alshammary (left) with University of Greenwich lecturer, Simon Dye

Anass Alshammary

Graduated: 2013
Course: BA Hons Tourism Management
Faculty: Business

#ProudtobeGre

Today Anass is filming the beauty of Northumbria and wild countryside on the Scottish border to make a portfolio which showcases his skills as a tourism manager. “My dream is to assist tourism between the UK and the Gulf States, either by starting my own company or working with the Saudi government”, he says.

Three years after graduating from Greenwich he has built up a formidable CV of jobs and environmental advocacy experience.

What made you choose the University of Greenwich?

The University of Greenwich is highly regarded in Saudi Arabia and its degrees are recognised worldwide.

There is no country in the world where higher education is more advanced than the UK. The quality of education, level of support from staff, library access, student union activity, and commitment to internationalism is second to none.

I have had exposure to so many people from all over the world while studying at Greenwich, and made so many friends.

Photo credit: Burnfoot Holiday Cottages, Morpeth, Northumberland
Anass is documenting the beauty of Northumbria which showcases his skills as a tourism manager Photo credit

What did your degree in Tourism Management give you?

Studying for a degree at Greenwich has helped me with my life. It has developed my intellectual ability to learn, and my vision for the future.

My final year thesis investigated the financial crisis and its impact on travel to Dubai and Europe. I developed dialogue and problem-solving skills, such as finding policy solutions to financial and environmental challenges. It gave me the confidence to speak on environmental issues on National Geographic Abu Dhabi for instance.

Falcon in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Photo Credit.

“I have had exposure to so many people from all over the world while studying at Greenwich, and made so many friends.”

What preparation did you need in order to study in the UK?

I was fortunate to gain a place on the King Abdullah Scholarship Programme of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The late King Abdullah was committed to developing human resources and today tens of thousands of citizens have benefited by studying in the world’s best universities.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Photo credit.

What is ecotourism?

Ecotourism opens up the natural world to visitors in a way that protects the environment.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and it needs to work with local people to sustain economies and habitats.

I would love to see people from my part of the world visit wildlife destinations in Europe where they can see deer, horses and birds. And vice versa: Saudi Arabia has the most dramatic desert landscapes and ancient history and there is definitely potential to increase ecotourism.

“Studying for a degree at Greenwich has helped me with my life. It has developed my intellectual ability to learn, and my vision for the future.”

And you have had some fascinating jobs since then?

Yes! A Saudi prince asked me to purchase and transport some falcons for him. Falcon hunting is an old sport across the world and popular in Saudi Arabia. UNESCO recently recognised it as part of humanity’s “intangible cultural heritage”. There is an international agreement not to take falcons from the wild so it was important for me to source the falcons from a breeding farm and meet all the international requirements.

I have also worked for a company supplying medical equipment which involved communicating between international companies. Having several languages such as English and French is a huge bonus in business. I have also worked as an interpreter.

“Being an alumnus of the University of Greenwich is a great privilege and I would certainly recommend it to future students.”

And advice for other international students?

The University of Greenwich is a global university for education, science and the arts, a multicultural and an international university. It’s based in London which only adds to its influence. I am proud and honoured to have studied in the UK.

Being an alumnus of the University of Greenwich is a great privilege and I would certainly recommend it to future students.

Learn more

International Foundation Programme with Cultural Studies

The International Foundation Programme is a one year, full-time pre-degree programme for international students. It is aimed to help those whose first language is not English but who have been educated in English and wish to study at a British university. The programme develops the academic skills needed for success in higher education, in particular writing, information literacy skills, working in groups and giving effective presentations. It ensures students develop the knowledge, self-confidence and skills needed to succeed in an academic environment.

Learn more
By | 2017-04-03T09:12:57+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Categories: Business School|

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26 Comments

  1. Yousef Alshammari March 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Well done my brother

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Yousef. We’re glad you enjoyed the feature.

  2. John Holwell March 24, 2017 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Really interesting
    A good link between Saudi Arabia and Northumberland
    Well done Anass

  3. John Holwell March 25, 2017 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Excellent work Anass
    Real vision for eco tourism between the UK and Saudi Arabia

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:09 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments, John. We will pass them on to Anass.

  4. Ellis Karim March 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Well done. It will be interesting to see how ecotourism develops in the Gulf states. The tourism industry faces profound impacts from climate change – impacts that are already being felt. It represents one of the world’s largest industries, accounting for some 9% of global GDP and generates 27 more than $6 trillion in revenues each year.

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:06 am - Reply

      Thank for your interesting comments, Ellis. We are glad you found this interesting

  5. Sarah Grimshaw March 29, 2017 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Very interesting, wonderful photos

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Sarah. We’re glad you found the article interesting

  6. Lidia Pérez March 30, 2017 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Fascinating vision of ecoturism and good advice for international students. Amazing photos, congratulations!

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments, Lidia. We will pass them on to Anass.

  7. Magnus Lysfjord March 31, 2017 at 7:06 am - Reply

    I met Anass at the University of Edinburgh and was delighted by his interesting perspective regarding tourism and cross collaboration of cultures. I am very much looking forward to seeing the outcome of his work.

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:22 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments, Magnus, which we will pass on to Anass. We also look forward to seeing the outcome of this fascinating project

  8. Marjorie Winnett March 31, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Interesting and thought-provoking. It will be fascinating to see how ecotourism develops between the UK and Saudi Arabia.

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Thank you Majorie. We too are looking forward to seeing how Anass progresses with this work.

  9. Magda Mirescu April 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    What a pleasant surprise to discover that Anass´ advocacy efforts for Saudi Arabia, the UK, tourism and the environment went well beyond verbal chit-chat and found a way to express themselves in writing on the homepage of his alma mater. I very much look forward to the movie on the beauty of Northumbria and hope that Anass will forever keep his enthusiasm and dedication towards what he believes in. Congratulations and keep it coming!

    • Alumni and Development April 12, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments Magda, which we will pass on to Anass. We also look forward to seeing the outcome of this fascinating project.

  10. Steven April 21, 2017 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Interesting article, Anass is a good ambassador for his country!

  11. Mohammad Shah April 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Excellent work Anass very Proud of you promoting the awareness of the environment

    Remember to add my name in the National Geographic ‘Creditors Page’

  12. LEE April 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    very excellent work and very interesting article. very cool!

  13. Jack Saint April 24, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Compelling feature, Anass! There is such a great diversity of landscapes and experiences out there in the world – more opportunities to celebrate this sounds great to me!

  14. RICHARD April 25, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Absolutely fantastic Anass , you are a visionary cary on the excellent work .

  15. David April 25, 2017 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Very interesting article and career option. This area of tourism will appeal to many people.

  16. Theo April 25, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    What an interesting link between Saudi Arabia and Northumbria! Lovely photos!

  17. Tom Demehin April 26, 2017 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Nice very nice and great use of photos.

  18. Keqing Liu April 29, 2017 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Very interesting project! I totally agree with the idea of ecotourism. Also, Amass is really nice guy!

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