HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), who is visiting the United States, spent two hours today in an interactive dialogue with more than 40 senior executives from across business, academia and the NGO community to seek their counsel on three of the Kingdom’s transformation development programs, NEOM, The Red Sea Project and Qiddiya.
The Crown Prince reiterated the importance of these projects to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region both in terms of economic impact and social well-being. He emphasized his commitment to placing environmental stewardship and sustainability at the heart of these efforts.
NEOM will be the world’s largest special economic zone spanning three countries. The Red Sea Project is a new luxury tourism destination. And, Qiddiya is the country’s first entertainment, sporting, and cultural district.
Since their launch, Saudi Arabia has been identifying world-class experts to engage as it moves forward with these key projects. The purpose of today’s discussions was to engage with these advisers; review progress to date; and seek their ideas in addition to insights as the Kingdom reaches out to potential global investors and partners.
Also attending the meetings were the CEOs of these three GigaProjects and senior Saudi officials.
John Pagano, Chief Executive Officer of The Red Sea Project, commented: ‘The meeting was extremely useful in helping us advance our vision. We are working to position the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the global sustainable tourism map and to do that we need to gather the best advice from the global sustainability experts, as well as, thought and industry leaders from all over the world.’
‘The insights that we gathered have confirmed parts of our plan and inspired us to consider going further in creating something unique. It is through this process that we will create something truly special for the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that will inspire the next generation, as well as, being a catalyst for wider economic growth’, added Michael Reininger, Chief Executive Officer of Qiddiya.
NEOM’s Chief Executive Officer, Klaus Kleinfeld, reiterated the vision to be ‘the world’s greatest place to live and work’ and held discussions on sustainability, new forms of mobility, advanced manufacturing and implementing the world’s first 100% renewable energy system.
In the coming months, formal Advisory Boards will be constituted for each of these projects to provide ongoing counsel and enhance international awareness and understanding of the opportunities these transformative projects provide.
To help achieve the Kingdom’s vision of a sustainable, diversified economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030, The Public Investment Fund is developing a portfolio of high quality domestic and international investments, diversified across sectors, geographies and asset classes. Working alongside global strategic partners and renowned investment managers, PIF acts as the Kingdom’s main investment arm to deliver a strategy focused on achieving attractive financial returns and long-term value for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Qiddiya will be Saudi Arabia’s first iconic entertainment and sports destination, located just 40km from downtown Riyadh. A core element of Vision 2030, the greenfield zone will be built around six integrated clusters covering some 300 activities including grassroots sports, winter and water activities, safaris and high adrenaline adventure activities, and next generation theme parks integrating virtual and augmented reality technologies. Qiddiya will provide an unprecedented entertainment, sporting, cultural and educational space for the eight million plus people of Riyadh, helping return some of the $30bn spent by Saudis abroad each year, while also acting as an economic catalyst for global firsts.
The Red Sea project will be an exquisite luxury tourism destination centered around five treasures: 200km of coastline: over 50 pristine islands and lagoons; dormant volcanoes; nature reserves; and historical sites, that will set new standards of excellence in sustainable development and position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. It is located 500km north of Jeddah. In total, the allocated project area is more than 34,000 square kilometers. The region will feature extensive adventure and leisure activities and ultra-luxurious wellness opportunities, all governed by enabling regulations that will protect the unique environmental ecosystem of the region and enhance visitor experience.
NEOM is the world’s first independent special zone spanning three countries. It is set to become a new vibrant destination located in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia, spread out over 26,500 square kilometers, that will be designed as an economy of the future. It will pioneer the next generation of smart cities by utilizing cutting-edge technology and industries, as well as provide an urban vision that offers the best in livability—all underpinned by principles that empower its citizens and tenants. NEOM will push the boundaries of innovation like never before, and drive the growth of this zone and its residents.