Visionary Leadership: Dr. Ahmed Babaeer Awarded “The CEO of the Year 2024”

CEO of The Year in Healthcare Sector Saudi Arabia 2024
Dr Ahmed Babaeer awarded the CEO of The Year in Healthcare Sector Saudi Arabia 2024. at the World Business Outlook Awards 2024

Dr Ahmed Babaeer has been CEO of Dallah Healthcare (DHC) since 2008. Over the past fifteen years, under his leadership, DHC has grown from a single site hospital to a multiple sites hospital providing diverse healthcare services and investments in wide variety of healthcare services. Dr Ahmed, as the CEO of the company, played a major role in leading the development of DHC strategy by diversifying services and products, and ensuring compliance with national and international accreditations with continuous focus on patient experience. He has a customer centric approach and particular interest in employee satisfaction and career development through continuous professional development programs provided by world renowned professionals. Under the leadership of Dr Ahmed, DHC has sustained its steady financial growth and has maintained its financial stability amid fierce market competition and during the difficult days of the COVID pandemic.

Dr Ahmed, as the CEO of DHC, actively deploys DHC vision and values to all stakeholders that includes the work force, suppliers, partners, and customers through various communication channels as well as by ensuring the commitment of senior leaders to deliver world class services that customers expect. His leadership reflects the responsible governance and high ethical standards through accountability and transparency throughout all transactions and frequent stakeholder’s interactions.

Dr Ahmed Babaeer, CEO of Dallah healthcare (DHC)
Dr Ahmed Babaeer, CEO of Dallah healthcare (DHC)

The CEO and DHC expansion and acquisition strategy:

Under Dr Ahmed as CEO, DHC has expanded tremendously from a single site DH Alnakheel to multiple sites and diverse health services. It now encompasses DH Alnakheel and Dallah Namar with total bed capacity of over 850 beds, the newly established Dallah Clinics, Dallah Home Care, telemedicine, Dallah Pharma and Afyaa Alnakheel company. Dr Babaeer spearheaded the strategic acquisition of significant stakes in prominent healthcare institutions, enhancing Dallah Healthcare’s service offerings and regional presence. As a recent example, the company entered a non-binding memorandum of understanding to acquire a stake in Al-Ahsa Medical Services Co. and a stake in Al-Salam Medical Services Co., strategically expanding its geographical reach within the Kingdom.

The CEO and DHC strategy:

Strategic planning and strategy execution is essential to the growth of the company and its maintained success. Dr Ahmed, from his position as CEO of the company over the past fifteen years, has led the teams that developed various DHC strategies, the latest of which is DHC 2023-2026 strategy. This strategy was developed in alignment with vision 2030 goals and objectives and with value-based healthcare (VBHC) provision as an aim. Based on that, the strategy pillars are:

The CEO and Quality and Patient Safety:

In the healthcare industry, quality and patient safety is a priority and DHC’s quest for quality and patient safety, led by Dr Ahmed as CEO since he joined, is unabated. Accreditations include: CBAHI and JCI for hospitals, CAP for laboratory, ISO 22000 (HACCP) for food services, ISO 27000 for IT and HIMSS 6 Certification for information technology. Recently, twelve surgical centers in Dallah Hospital Alnakheel, the flagship of DHC, has been accredited by the American Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) as centers of surgical excellence in a recognition of their excellent high level of surgical expertise that match the best international standards. Also, as a recognition of its excellence in business and healthcare provision, the Global Business Outlook Awards (GBO awards) has awarded DH Alnakheel, in 2022 as “Best Orthopedic Center of Excellence“ award and in 2023, as “Most Innovative Hospital for Emergency Department”. For the CEO, for his visionary leadership and governance, DHC has won the prestigious King Khalid Award in 2018 for the core area of “Good Governance.”

The CEO leads the efforts of Patient Experience improvement and Patient centric care:

For DHC, patient experience is one of the strategic pillars and it is a priority for many years. Patient experience surveys utilizing the world renowned universal HCAHPS survey questionnaire are in use in DHC hospitals since 2016. To give it credibility, our HCAHPS survey results are benchmarked with national, MOH, and international benchmarks. Because of its utmost importance, the patient experience department reports directly to the CEO. As part of enhancing patient experience efforts and to ensure treating patients in healing environment, DHC facilities have undergone major renovation project with state-of-the-art design.

DHC has a systematic approach to select, collect, align, and integrate customer listening methods. The organization selects and uses multiple voice of customers and listening methods such as customer-focused surveys, face-to-face communications, community outreach, market data, and social media to build a more customer-centric culture and support operational decision-making. Results are shared with the governance, service leaders, staff members, and customers. Collectively, these approaches to gather, evaluate, and improve the patient experience support the organization’s customer-centered focus, reinforce its values of outstanding service and integrity, and may expand relationships with customers and give the DHC a competitive market advantage for future growth. DHC systematically analyzes patient experience survey results to identify areas for improvement and adopt best practices in the industry. To give it credibility, the HCAHPS survey results are bench marked with national, MOH, and international benchmarks. The survey measures patient experience in outpatients, Emergency Departments and inpatients.

The CEO and Employee Satisfaction and Continuous Professional Development:

Dr Ahmed, as CEO of the company, has a particular interest in employee satisfaction and professional development and has led the efforts to develop future leaders and help employees in their careers. This has involved the technical and administrative staff. A continuous professional department (CPD) together with HR training department were established to oversee those processes. Among those professional development programs held over the past two years are:

  • Fifteen symposia and workshops attended by more than 2600 employees.
  • Executive leadership development program done in collaboration with world renowned Institute Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), 30 leaders trained.
  • Executive leadership coaching program done in collaboration with “coREACH”, a coaching company that provides internationally accredited coaching programs with ICF certified coaches. 20 leaders trained.
  • Middle management leadership development program done in collaboration with Franklin Covey training and development agency. 20 managers trained.

The CEO leadership and contribution in DHC financial growth and financial sustainability:

Under the leadership of Dr Ahmed as CEO, DHC has sustained steady financial growth and has maintained strong financial stability. This has enabled the company to expand and widen its investments. The financial growth was driven by operational efficiency, increased revenue, and cost containment. Under his leadership as CEO, DHC became a public company in 2012, and his personal contribution in overseeing and leading the discussions with various parties in this achievement was pivotal and instrumental. Since then, the company, under his leadership continued to grow and expand.

Business Turnaround Strategy During and After the Pandemic:

As Covid-19 pandemic made some negative impact in financial conditions of organizations, Dr. Ahmed Babaeer as CEO has taken a painstaking approach to overcome the difficulties and guide DHC into a stable position through the application of crisis management strategies and by limiting the loss.  These strategies have played a major role in overcoming a negative net profit of 8.16% between 2019 and 2020. The following year in 2021, the net profit increased by 104%, reaching 275 million riyals and then further increasing the net profit to 295 million riyals in the year 2022. 

Operational efficiency and continued growth: 

Under his leadership, Dallah Healthcare reported a robust 31% increase in net profit in 2023, amounting to SAR 360.1 million with revenue growth of 18.3% year-over-year. Dr. Babaeer has been instrumental in enhancing operational efficiency, as evidenced by a gross profit increase of 21% year-over-year. The company continues to enhance its investment portfolio and financial capabilities to generate profitable returns for shareholders, investors, and partners.

Outstanding contribution of CEO and C-Suite has been made to the success of the health insurance industry through his career. Some examples as follows: 

  • Universal employee (patient required approvals are managed at back end by an employee who has access and system support to generate and follow up the required approvals)
  • NPHIS Integration 
  • Electronic UCaf (System generates all the requirements of UCAF automatically)
  • E-Claims

With the above system integration and process changes, our insurance clients can get timely feedback on the status of insurance approvals, and facilitation between the healthcare givers, insurance companies and clients also become more transparent and productive.  Measures have been taken through patient satisfaction surveys and other data monitoring. 


Under Dr Ahmed Babaeer, DHC has tremendously expanded over the past fifteen years and has sustained a steady financial growth and maintained its financial stability amid fierce market competition while focusing on quality, patient safety and improving patient experience, which is evident by the excellent track record of national and international accreditations. Dr. Babaeer’s strategic leadership and commitment to excellence have not only propelled Dallah Healthcare to new heights but have also set a benchmark in the healthcare industry. His efforts align closely with Saudi Vision 2030, focusing on transforming the Kingdom into a hub for advanced healthcare through innovation, quality, and accessibility. By enhancing Dallah Healthcare’s operational capabilities, expanding its geographical reach, and investing in cutting-edge medical technologies, Dr. Babaeer is significantly advancing healthcare standards in Saudi Arabia. This visionary leadership makes him an outstanding candidate for the Top CEO Award, reflecting his pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare in the region.

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World Business Outlooks Awards 2024


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