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  • Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan bin Rashid Honors Winners of the 12th term of ‎Hamdan Medical awardSheikh Rashid bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Supreme ‎Chairman of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic ‎Performance and Patron of the Sheik ...

Dr. Zohair Yousef Al Halees

Arab World Awards

Hamdan Award for honoring distinguished personalities from the Arab World

Personal Details & Academic Background

Dr. Zohair Yousef Al Halees is a distinguished cardiovascular surgeon from Saudi Arabia. Born in 1954 in Gaza, Dr.Al Halees graduated from King Saud University Medical School in 1976, after a year of rotating internship, he joined  the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a surgical resident.

He joined the cardiac surgery team from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA who were performing cardiac surgery at the hospital. He then moved to Houston, Texas, USA where he started his cardiac surgical career before moving to Ottawa University Heart Institute in Canada, where he remained till 1984. Dr. Al Halees took extra training as a fellow in pediatric cardiac surgery in Denver Colorado, USA from 1984 to 1985. After that, he returned to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, where he is currently a Distinguished Senior Consultant in Cardiac Surgery.

Responsibilities and Professional Milestones

Dr. Al Halees held a number of illustrious posts while his professional progression continued at all times. In addition to being a Distinguished Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Al Halees is an Advisor for Cardiovascular Services to the Chief Executive Officer at KFSH&RC in Riyadh and Jeddah. Because of his outstanding experience, he has been a visiting consultant to many hospitals all over the world; furthermore, he also held the post of a visiting professor for the Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada in 1996-1997. He is currently a professor of cardiac surgery at the Medical School, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Dr. Al Halees is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, in general surgery and cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Chest  Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American  College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, the Gulf Heart Association and many other prestigious medical associations around the world.

He is also a member of the editorial board of several influential peer-reviewed scientific journals such as; The British Journal of Cardiology-Middle East Edition, The Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Journal of the Egyptian Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, Journal of Heart Valve Diseases and Cardiology in the Young.

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Al Halees has been the recipient of many awards; to mention but a few; Distinguished Scientific Award (2003), King Abdulaziz High Civilian Medal of Honor (2007) given to him personally by the Custodian of the 2 Holy Mosques King Abdulla Bin Abdulaziz for his distinguished service to the country and the AlMoftaha Award presented by his Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Khaled, Governor of Asir Region in Saudi Arabia (2009).


Dr. Al Halees published over 300 scientific articles and gave over 400 presentations and invited lectures. Al Halees’ achievements also include several live surgery transmissions to conference for teaching purposes. Moreover, he successfully organized over 30 Health Outreach Programs and surgical missions in Yemen, Morocco, Iran, Pakistan, India, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania, Lebanon and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during his highly successful and extraordinary career. He was also invited to teach and illustrate advanced surgical procedures in many countries including Canada, USA, Italy, Thailand, Indonesoa, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Tunisia.

Currently, Dr. Al Halees is actively engaged in several clinical trials and medical research projects. His current focus is on congenital heart defects incidence and outcomes in Saudi Arabia and stem cell transplantation. He has been a member of the Endocarditis Working Group of the International Society for Chemotherapy (I.S.C.) in France, where he conducted cutting edge research resulting in highly significant findings.
The highly influential work of Dr. Zohair Al Halees in the context of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, both in clinical and research terms, has earned him enviable national and international reputation. Therefore, Dr. Al Halees was chosen to receive the Hamdan Award for Distinguished Personalities in the Arab World for the term 2013 - 2014.