Hani Mohammad Aburas, Mayor of Jeddah

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Testimonials for
Hani Mohammad Aburas
Mayor of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

The winner and runner-ups of World Mayor 2014 will be chosen based on the number of nominations in relation to the size of their cities and, more importantly, on the persuasiveness and conviction of testimonials received during this year's World Mayor Project. Below we publish a selection of comments received to date about WM nominee Hani Mohammad Aburas, Mayor of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Comment: I vote for Dr Hani Aburas... I think he should win because he had a vision & he succeeded to all his endeavour as well as raising the standards of living in the city of Jeddah... I left Jeddah to work in Riyadh around 7 years ago and I can see the city is transforming from a small and lay back City into a World Class Giant Hub for tourism and business with good governance. I have seen the great transformation of the City since I left in 2007, the fast rising of infrastructures,an eco and citizen friendly environment, the beautification of the road and installation of traffic lights, improving and making our historical heritage known to the world...(By Ammar H B, Jeddah)

Comment: I am a Jeddah resident and have been here more than 40 years. During this time I've noticed Jeddah going through an abnormal population growth that required more planning and development to meet the challenging situation. We went through hardships and difficulties on infrastructure and living standards until the Mayor Hani Mohammad Aburas was elected four years ago. This Mayor was able to take up the challenge and addressed major issues including road development, building new needed bridges, expansion of highways and acquiring new zoning to organize the living districts. Additionally our city witnessed during his reign, a drastic green approach to the city's development especially the coast of Jeddah. Also major work was done on storm water management for the city. Another dimension was to establish Urban indicators for Jeddah so it could be compared with other more developed cities in order to increase the living standard for Jeddah. Hereby, I sincerely, I elect Mayor Hani Mohammad Aburas for the award of 2014 World Mayor Prize. If any further support is needed I would be happy to provide it. ( Prof M A, Jeddah)

Comment: I want to support the candidacy of Dr Hani Aburas for this award. Hani has been instrumental in some of major initiative in Jeddah such as
1. Flood control
2. Disease control
3. Infrastructure development
4. Crime control
I visit Jeddah quite often and I have seen visible differences during his tenure. I would be happy to provide more information if you want to contact me. (By Prof Mohammed A, Manchester, UK)
Comment: I support Mayor Aburas because I have seen the differences in Jeddah. I started studying abroad four years ago. Every year I come to Jeddah to visit my family; I see Jeddah is changing for better. Four years ago, there was traffic everywhere. If I want to go to a place, I have to go out one hour earlier. Now I graduated and settled down in Jeddah. Yesterday, I went to meet my friends. I went out one hour earlier because I thought there would be traffic. Although the trip was from south Jeddah to north Jeddah, I arrived in 20 minute. What a surprise! The traffic is not as it used to be because of the projects that have been built, from brides to tunnels. What a huge change! Today with the social media, there is an app to file a complaint, and another app to check work site in order to avoid the traffic. I hope Jeddah will be one of the best cities to live in the world, and I think it is possible today. (By Sahar A)
Comment: Let me first start by thanking you for your great efforts throughout the years in tracking and nominating the best city mayors form all around the world.

Secondly, I am sure I am in no need of explaining what have Dr.Aburas achieved since his appointment as mayor of Jeddah in 2010 as I believe your respected selves have all the information. However, what I would like to mention is that Dr.Aburas has been appointed at a time where the city's conditions wasn't at it's best, but thankfully, he managed with the help of God first and his team to pass us - citizens of Jeddah- through this rough time. 

Everyone in the city knew there were lots of improvements needed to improve the standards of Jeddah in order to make it worth living in and to make it, hopefully, one of the best cities in the region. With Dr.Hani being its mayor, and with all his commitment, hard work and most importantly his love to this beautiful city, he made us believe Jeddah will always be the bride of the Red Sea. 

There a lot of things I could mention to justify my vote for Dr.Aburas, but thought I should keep it short. So, I hereby, give my vote to Dr.Hani Aburas to become the World Mayor for 2014. (By Reem B, Jeddah)
Comment: I vote for Dr. Hani Aburas to win the world mayor. He is dedicated and committed in his work. He had a vision for city of Jeddah and strived to accomplish them. With his team was able to establish infrastructure for most of Jeddah facilities such as seaside walks , children play grounds and public toilets. He had renovated old Jeddah and was nominated to be internationally historical city. He deserve his recognition and we hope that will win. Thank you. (By Dr Sumaiah A, Jeddah)
Comment: I have been living in Jeddah City for the last two decades, the quality of life in Jeddah City improved a lot under the leadership of Mayor Dr Hani Mohammad Aburas . The mayor is a good planner, he has an excellent vision and strategies of development of the city and he follows scientific methods in decision making process. It is the vision of the Mayor to make the city of Jeddah as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Therefore, I highly recommend Dr. Aburas to be selected as World Mayor 2014 for his exceptional qualities. (By Mahmood, S H A, Jeddah)
Comment: I have known and worked with H.E. the Mayor of Jeddah for the past 3 years approximately, in my capacity as technical consultant to the City of Jeddah on some of their development projects. From my dealings with H.E., I have come to know him relatively well, and have found him to be a person with ethics, enthusiasm and professionalism. It is not a secret that the city of Jeddah is ageing, and requires quite a significant effort to keep it in shape and carry it towards an advanced state and a sustainable future (infrastructure-wise at least). H.E. not only possesses the vision, but also the energy, the awareness of the need to engage the right experts and the belief in achieving these goals, with all the existing challenges. As such, I strongly recommend that he is nominated and hope that he receives this prestigious recognition. (By M M, Dubai)
Comment: I Had the privilege of knowing Dr. Hani Aburas for several years as the Deputy Mayor of Jeddah . and after he become  the Mayor on working four years in the Secretariat . Jeddah  residents are aware of the potential improvement in the city livihood and ,, as the manager of Mecca region environment, including the Jeddah province , the environmental indicators considerably rose , by the establishment of the surface air quality monitoring stations. Dr. Aburas , carried out the above  good work artistically, and we look forward to a project that  could generate further improvement the beach . On behalf of Jeddah residents and our environmental staff . I thank Dr.Aburas for the good work he did for environment . (By Dr Abdullah, A A, Mecca)
Comment: Dr. AbuRas has been active in:-
1. Noticeable paving of streets;
2. More street lighting..including small ones;
3. Significant connection of sewerage in more areas;
4. More regular supply of water;
5. An addition of a walking.arena;
6. Significant sightseekng Seafro t/Corniche;
7. Significant construction of tunnels & bridges;
8. Plans for a metro;
9. More bus service.
(By Dr Ibrahim A, Jeddah)
Comment: I am fully supporting choosing HE Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Mayor Dr. Hani Aburas to be the winner of the World Mayor 2014 Award, because there is very significant improvement in city infrastructure, historical places, public parks, corniche development, public transportation system and city cleanness. (By Waleed K, Dubai)
Comment: I believe that the Mayor of Jeddah worth to win the prize. He have the leadership skills and attitude to guide the improvement of the Jeddah city.
He is supporting the new young leaders within his organization by positioning them in the right managerial level and giving the confidence and support for example the manager of the Building Licenses Manager, Mega Projects licenses Manager, Projects Portfolio Manager, Investments Manager, and others. Although, he gives a recognition to the expert employees at the organization and give them more responsibilities and authorities for example the Services Deputy Mayor and Projects Deputy Mayor.

He is leading and managing the organization through the strategy planning and Balanced Scorecard. A long term plan have be developed which is the city wide strategy plan up to 2033. From that level a five year strategy plan for the organization created and then has been cascaded to lower level up to the major departments. The plans contains objectives, KPIs with targets, and list of initiatives and projects. From the city wide plan each governmental organization know what they have to do to achieve the vision and strategic goals of the city. As well the internal departments are guided by the five year strategy plan. Whereas the KPIs has been set to monitor the performance and identifies the gaps. Also, the budgeting process is linked to the strategy plan and management.

He have established a long term change management process. He started by the restructuring project for the organization. Engagement program is about to start this year. This process is leading to a more efficient organization structure and better modes of operating and preforming.

He is using the IT and the process improvement to enhance the way of doing the work and delivering the services to the residents. IT solution and systems are implemented to provide more e-services. For example the building permits; in which the applications are submitted online and at the end the permits could be printed electronically.

He is caring about the residents' complaints. He supported a project to enhance the call center to receive the complaints properly then deliver it to the responsible department to solve it in a specific time frame. He directed to implement a system to deal with the process of managing the complaints electronically, therefore the time is being saved and a monitoring tool is provided. In addition, a smartphone application, website, Tweeter account have been crated for the residents to simplify sending the complaints. Beside he assigned a time for the residents to visit and complain to him directly if they wish. (By Abdullah A, Jeddah)
Comment: Under the leadership of Dr Aburas, the Mayor of Jeddah, the city have striven and taken giant leaps toward becoming a great city to live in. I wish Dr. Aburas all the success in his endeavor. (By Mohamad B, Dubai)
Comment: I would like to support the candidacy of HE Dr. Hani Aburas for World Mayor 2014.  Having great ideas and vision for a city is of course a starting point, but the real challenge for a mayor is to have those ideas implemented in a way that is sustainable, based on best practices and includes consideration for all stakeholders. Jeddah, under the leadership of Dr. Hani, has been successful at implementing solutions in record time and in way that instills pride in citizens and visitors alike.

Dr. Hani has also shown wise decision making in the prioritization of public works projects, addressing the health and environmental concerns with immediacy and has also shown a keen willingness to involve the private sector in the various projects in the city. This has resulted in a model that is truly sustainable, not just from an environmental standpoint, but also from the social and economic perspectives.

Jeddah is a wonderful city that is welcoming and dynamic, even more so now after Dr. Hani's first term as mayor. Dr. Hani Aburas is well deserving of the title of World Mayor 2014 and I wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy. (By Jason M)
Comment: I vote to Aburas. When he got to be mayor I finally got to get around the city in 15 min from and to my home which I use to do in 45 min. He did more than 10-15 new bridges and tunnels which allows us to go from the north to the south in 15 min. He also upgrade the municipality system, when I apply to get a permission to build a house its took 3 business day which before took more than 2 month. I think Mayor Aburas deserve to be the world mayor since he is the most loved person in the city. (By Mohammed S M, Jeddah)
Comment: I have lived in Jeddah during my studies at the university since 1977 and I still visiting and I notice the extent of development that occurs annually, which became rapidly since, Dr. Hani took place Jeddah developed to become the city of Summer and Winter resort for most visitors from Saudi Arabia and all around the world. I strongly vote for choosing HE Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Mayor Dr. Hani Aburas to be the winner of the 2014 of the prestigious because he is the man of Honesty in promise and what is he is working hard day and night  for highlight Jeddah city to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world....He is a man of Visionary honest. (By Nagash, Taif City)
Comment: •Four years ago, Jeddah had a disaster resulting from storm water, which led to destruction of some roads and some tunnels as well. Aburas started with a strategy for constructing a future city.

• Aburas followed the organizational interactive method in managing the municipality of Jeddah.

• Aburas arranged daily interviews with the residents of Jeddah to discuss their needs and consider their ideas.

• Aburas dismantled the centralized management into future organized managements.

• Aburas followed the method of re-planning and innovating the random areas with a future consideration. (By E Mohammed A Y, Jeddah)
Comment: I would to vote for Dr. Hani Aburas for 2014 world mayor prize for the following reasons.  
1- since 2010 I have worked with Jeddah municipality for three consecutive years as part time consultant for women inspection section under direct supervision of Dr. Arwa Alama for whom the direct boss is Dr. Aburas. I personally noticed his efforts and keen interest to develop the women section, he was open minded and very supportive.
2- As a citizen I am benefitting from the still ongoing major improvement and maintanance in streets and several new highways.  
3- Many open area parks and playgrounds for children have been created in Jeddah districts.
4- Also for the first time we will soon have a train public transportation connecting Jeddah to major Islamic capitals in the world (Makka and Madina) which will make transportation easier for millions of muslims visiting holy cities throughout the year via Jeddah as the gate to these cities.
All that and more under his wise leadership, therefore he deserves the prize on behave of all those living in Jeddah. (By Dr Hanan J, Jeddah)

Comment: I am fully supporting choosing HE Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Mayor Dr. Hani Aburas to be the winner of the 2014 of the prestigious World Mayor 2014 Award,
Dr. Aburas has a long list of initiatives and did deliver on a long list of projects that all residents and visitors can see. Dr. Aburas is a major player for so many projects affecting the lives of all residents in Jeddah City.
In a short 4 years after Dr. Aburas was in charge as Jeddah Mayor in 2010, following are achievements that I was able to see:-
• Major Road and Intersection projects that was were delivered on time and really improved traffic issues in the city,
• Major Environmental initiatives,
• Initiatives in establishing new companies leading major projects in Jeddah such as Wad Al Asla Developments, Heart of Jeddah Developments, Developments of Slums Areas in Jeddah, etc.
• Leading Jeddah Public Transport Project,
• Major initiatives to develop Strategies and Long term Plans with World Class consultants,
• Major initiative to restructure Jeddah Municipality,
• Major developments in e-services to the public
• Major developments to improve Cornich projects the public is using currently
• Major developments in working with all stakeholders and Government agencies
Dr. Aburas is a Great leader with Great personality and Great Achievements. (By Osama I A)

Comment: Jeddah Mayer deserves to win because the city of Jeddah witnessed many achievements in his era the most important one is document heuristic Jeddah to theWorld heritage in UNESCO in addition Jeddah municipality got many local and international awards and launched a promising vital projects in the city such as the bridges, tunnels and he try to communicate with residents of Jeddah via social media channels. (By Weam M, Jeddah)

Comment: I see and live the changes he made in Jeddah last two or three years. He resolves the crowded issue, fix big traffic issues and organize the Beach all long Jeddah. (By Fahad A-K, Makkah)

Comment: It gives me great pleasure to nominate our Jeddah Mayor Dr. Hani Abu Ras for Best Mayor. Although we still have a long way to be Best City, our Mayor has truly done a marvelous job during his 1st term as Mayor. He has created a huge shift in many administrative tasks inside the Municipality, which had a wonderful impact on many aspect in the city and was able to revive it totally, especially after it was hardly hit by two devastating floods. (By Dr Arwa Y)

Comment: As the Gateway to the Two Holy Mosques‚ Jeddah is venerated throughout the Islamic world. Jeddah’s unique place in history has been a source of inspiration and pride for more than fourteen centuries. Jeddah is a major city in its own right, with more than 3.4 million residents which makes it the second largest city in KSA and by virtue of its geographical and historical position is a major commercial and pilgrimage center.

Under the leadership of Dr Aburas, the Mayor of Jeddah, a well-ordered plan that seeks to blend the city‚s historic culture with the demands of the changing world, in order to provide the citizens of Jeddah an improved infrastructure which will support economic development, improve social welfare and enhance their quality of life.

The Jeddah Strategic Plan, first issued in 2009, clearly outlines a vision for Jeddah as a modern day city that will provide prosperity to the communities it serves as well maintaining the tradition of hosting Muslim pilgrims from all parts of the world. This plan gave rise to a number of key initiatives which have each been instrumental in leading the challenge to deliver the plan.
First among these was the formation of Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC), whose aim it was to encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors with a common goal of providing a range of sustainable urban developments that includes affordable housing for the citizens of Jeddah, commercial development projects, leisure and recreational projects and improved transportation. JDURC provides the public sector with key services to make schemes both viable and successful including, facilitating requisite approvals, assisting with appropriate legislation and adding value to development schemes.

The Jeddah Transport Master Plan is focused on ensuring journeys both to and from and within the city can be undertaken safely and controlled using a safe and well managed transport network. An integral part of this plan is the Jeddah Public Transport Program (JPTP) that includes metro, commuter and tramway rail systems, water ferries, BRT and long distance coaches, obhur bride and multimodal station. The JPTP is currently in implementation stage through Metro Jeddah Company, a newly form company to undertake JPTP.

Jeddah waterfront is a key feature of the cities life. The Red Sea, which forms the western edge of the city with its tropical warm water, has long been a haven for commerce, social and recreational activity. The construction of the two phases of the Jeddah Corniche provided the citizens of Jeddah the modern amenities to help families to meet surrounded by the natural environment where they can relax and play.

The plan has enjoyed significant support from both Central Government and the Local and International Market.
Each of the above initiatives demonstrated the value a foresight of the Mayor's leadership plan. Many more concepts will follow within the coming years of the plan, all of which will together transform Jeddah into a modern efficient city that provides a safe home to its growing populace all of whom can all delight in living in the city rich in heritage and culture and which justly deserves the right to be known as the Bride of the Red Sea. (By Dr Ghaffar I, Jeddah)

Comment: Hani Mohammad Aburas did so many beautiful things for the city. He did things which he promised to do. He made Jeddah as a chief city of tourism.

Comment: Hani Mohammad Aburas was appointed after a disastrous flood situation in the city, Jeddah. Some employees and leaders in the organisation were under investigation. He succeeded to bring the falling organisation back to performance. He succeeded to improve services and deliver many projects improving city life. (By Abdulmajeed A, Jeddah)

Comment: The mayor is a good planner, he saved our city Jeddah from crisis, he have an excellent vision and strategies of development of the city and he follow scientific methods in decision making process.

Comment: Jeddah is a fast growing city and the gate of the two holy mosques (Makah and Medina) the mayor of Jeddah have been taking the challenge along with the higher authorities to continue the developments of the national strategy. (By Majid Hisham M, Jeddah)

Comment: It is the vision of the Mayor to make the city of Jeddah as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. (By Ghulam R R, Jeddah)

Comment: Under Hani Aburas’ leadership we have introduced a procurement system, knowledge portal and received regional and international award in IT. (By S W, Jeddah)

Comment: There is very significant improvement in city infrastructure, historical places, public parks, corniche development, public transportation system and city cleanness. (By RK, Jeddah)

Comment: I have been living the City since 2007 and of late the quality of life in the Jeddah City improved a lot with several infrastructure projects accomplished under the leadership of Dr. Aburas. This is remarkably observed in the field of city cleaning and road networks. (By Rajappan, Jeddah)

Critical comments:
Comment: For the past years, Jeddah has been suffering floods due to inappropriate infrastructure. Also, it's been known all over Saudi Arabia that Jeddah Municipality has been under spotlight for the past years due to alleged corruption in rewarding contracts which led to catastrophic failures. Please search in Google about what happened to Jeddah the past years and how horrible it was for people of Jeddah (poor road construction projects, traffic that can't be controlled, etc). (By Hussain)

Comment: Although in the website it suggests that i use this email to give reasons why Jeddah's Mayor "Hani Aburas" should win mayor of world . I'm  sad to say that this email gives reasons why he should NOT be in this list in the first place.

While reviewing your "Code of Ethics" its easy to see that he is not fit for this award or even as mayor.

First of all the former Mayor "Adnan Fageeh , currently holding two  ministries in Saudi Arabia which shows his power" is the current mayor's  uncle and he hugely recommended that his nephew take his place.

Article 2 is clearly inapplicable cause homosexuality is illegal in  Saudi Arabia and punishable by death and as mayor he should support that.

Article 3 The mayor cannot push any laws as he has not power to rule such thing , the only person who can do that is the Prince of the  western region.

Article 4 He cannot appose any laws he's just a servant to the prince of the western region and the government

Article 8 made me laugh cause the mayors in this city have a long  history of giving projects not to the best bidders but based on personal  connections and the current mayor is no exception if you get the  official and non-official papers from them and investigate.

Article 9 Jeddah had 2 major floods in the past years the first one happened while the former mayor was still in charge and the second one happened while the current mayor was in charge and a lot of lives were lost in those floods and they only got promoted , so this speaks volumes  about public scrutiny in the administrations. (By SA, Jeddah)

World Mayor

The philanthropic City Mayors Foundation awards the World Mayor Prize every two years to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to his / her community and has developed a vision for urban living and working that is relevant to towns and cities across the world. The Prize has been awarded since 2004.

Anyone voting for a mayor is also asked to consider whether his / her candidate is likely to agree to the City Mayors Code of Ethics. Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the Code.

Votes must be accompanied by a thoughtful supporting statement.

2014/15 Timetable
First-round nominations were accepted until the middle of May 2014. A longlist of 121 candidates was published on 22 May. A shortlist of 26 nominees was announced on 18 June 2014. A second round of voting will take place between now and the middle of October. The winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize and other results of the World Mayor Project were announced on 3 February 2015.

The philanthropic City Mayors Foundation, the international think tank on urban affairs, organises the World Mayor Project and awards the World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been given since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the City Mayors Code of Ethics.

The winner receives the artistically acclaimed World Mayor trophy, while the runner-up is given the World Mayor Commendation.

Winners and runners-up
2004 to 2014

In 2014: Winner: Naheed Nenshi (Calgary, Canada); First runner-up: Daniël Termont (Ghent, Belgium); Second runner-up: Tri Rismaharini (Surabaya, Indonesia)

In 2012: Winner: Iñaki Azkuna (Bilbao, Spain); Runner-up: Lisa Scaffidi (Perth, Australia); In third place: Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia)

In 2010: Winner: Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City, Mexico); Runner-up: Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, USA); In third place: Domenico Lucano (Riace, Italy)

In 2008: Winner: Helen Zille (Cape Town, South Africa); Runner up: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich, Switzerland); In third place: Leopoldo López (Chacao, Venezuela)

In 2006: Winner: John So (Melbourne, Australia); Runner up: Job Cohen (Amsterdam, Netherland); In third place: Stephen Reed (Harrisburg, USA)

In 2005: Winner: Dora Bakoyannis (Athens, Greece); Runner-up: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga, Canada); In third place: Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City, Guatemala)

In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana, Albania); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City, Mexico); In third place: Walter Veltroni (Rome, Italy)