Lee Jae-yong, executive chairman of Samsung Electronics and de facto leader of Samsung Group, visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel during the Chseok holiday to explore new business opportunities.
He also inspected ongoing projects in the Middle East run by Korea's s largest conglomerate, the group said Monday.
"The executive chairman used this year's Chuseok holiday, the Korean thanksgiving festival, to visit the three Middle Eastern countries. Since 2014, when he began spearheading the group's management, Lee has traveled to overseas sites every holiday to inspect local businesses and meet with leaders of global companies," Samsung said.
Lee's visit to the Middle East comes a year after he visited the construction site of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shortly after taking over as Samsung Electronics' executive chairman seat last year.
In Saudi Arabia, Lee inspected a tunnel construction site for NEOM, a mega-city in which Samsung C&T is participating, in the northwestern province of Tabuk.
NEOM is a futuristic new city being built as part of Saudi Arabia's massive national reform project, Vision 2030, and Samsung C&T is participating in the construction of an underground railway, a key transportation and logistics tool for NEOM.
Last year, Samsung C&T began tunneling a section of the Spine, the underlying transportation network and infrastructure of THE LINE, a residential area in one of the four districts of NEOM. The company is responsible for a total of 12.5 kilometers of tunnel construction.
In a meeting with employees working in Saudi Arabia, Lee said, "the Middle East is a treasure trove of opportunities for future growth and innovative technologies."
"Even though we are away from our families, let's challenge ourselves boldly with the mindset that we are at the forefront of securing the future of global Samsung," the executive chairman added.
Lee also sent gifts of seafood to employees' homes in Korea to thank them for their family members' hard work overseas, even though Korea is celebrating the Chuseok holiday.
Prior to his visit to Saudi Arabia, Lee visited Samsung Electronic's factory in Beni Suef, central Egypt, where he inspected TV and tablet PC production sites and discussed Samsung's business strategy in the region.
Egypt is a bridgehead for the Middle East and Africa, and Samsung has been producing TVs, monitors and tablet PCs there since 2012.
"Samsung Electronics plans to build an additional smartphone production plant in Egypt to target the Middle East smartphone market," the company said.
On Sept. 28, the Samsung chief inspected the status of investments in innovative startups and new technologies at Samsung's R&D center in Israel and examined ways to secure innovative technologies.
Dubbed as a startup nation, Israel has more than 7,000 innovative technology startups, including AI, semiconductors, bio and autonomous driving, and Samsung operates the Israel R&D Center and Samsung Research Israel to secure new technologies.