NEOM News Room

All the latest news from the $500bn mega-city in the desert

Architect Norman Foster suspends role on Saudi NEOM project following death of well-known Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi

Norman Foster has temporarily stepped back from his role on the board overseeing the planning of a $500 billion mega-city in Saudi Arabia as questions mount over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  The international community is demanding answers over what happened to the Washington Post writer following his recent disappearance inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

Foster had been named as one of 18 ‘global experts’ on the global advisory board for NEOM, a proposed desert mega-city in Saudi Arabia, described as the world’s most ambitious project. 

But Foster has told the AJ he stepped away from the project last week. A statement from Foster + Partners reads: ’Earlier [last week] Lord Foster wrote to the head of the NEOM advisory board, stating that, while the situation remains unclear, he has suspended his activities in respect of the board.’

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Ernest Moriz and Dan Doctoroff distance themselves from the NEOM advisory board

A senior executive who works for Google's parent company and a former US secretary of energy have dropped out of the NEOM business advisory board following international outcry over the disappearance and alleged murder of a dissident Saudi journalist. 

Members mentioned in the announcement included famed tech industry investor Marc Andreessen; Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet's urban planning unit Sidewalk Labs; Travis Kalanick, ex-CEO of Uber; former European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes; ex-Dow Chemical Company CEO Andrew Liveris, and Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman.

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Saudis appoint global advisory board to oversee mega-city NEOM

The 18 members of the board come from a diverse range of backgrounds including urban planning, architecture, design, technology, sustainability, energy and manufacturing - the key areas of NEOM.

“We welcome the global and diverse expertise of the advisory board and are confident that each of them will make huge contributions to the development of Neom,” said Neom CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr.

“The advisory board will help shape Neom’s future through its detailed knowledge and connections with potential long-term strategic partners.”

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Patricia Figueroa

NEOM advisor Gladstone Place brings on Patricia Figueroa as SVP

Gladstone Place Partners has hired Patricia Figueroa as SVP, advising clients on corporate issues and investor relations.

Prior to joining the corporate and financial firm, Figueroa led IR at Arconic since the company was founded in 2016 when it was spun off from aluminum company Alcoa, the firm said in a statement.  Gladstone is advising the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia on NEOM, a city development, via a contract worth $199,500, according to Foreign Agents Registration Act filings with the Justice Department. Gladstone is providing "comms and strategic advice" for U.S. audiences about NEOM, but is not contacting federal officials or seeking to influence policy.

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Will Saudi succeed or fail with the NEOM project?

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Saudi Arabia pulls the plug on $200 billion solar farm project

Saudi Arabia has shelved a $200 billion plan with SoftBank Group Corp to build the world’s biggest solar-power-generation project, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The project, which was announced by SoftBank in March, was expected to generate up to 200 gigawatts by 2030, more than the kingdom’s current capacity from all energy sources.

The WSJ report, which cited people familiar with the matter, noted that “no one is actively working on the project,” and instead, the Saudi kingdom is working up a “broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy,” to be announced in late October.

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Indian ambassador urges Indian engineers to seize Vision 2030’s opportunities

India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmad Javed has called on Indian engineers and other technical professionals “to grab the opportunities coming up within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Speaking as chairman and chief guest at a high-profile meeting of engineers in Riyadh recently, he said he was pleased to learn that 12 percent of all engineers in Saudi Arabia are Indian.  More than 300 engineers attended the event, which was organized by the Indian Engineers Forum (IEF) in Riyadh, a leading nonprofit professional organization that for 20 years has been working to share knowledge and forge connections.

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New Saudi resort to open own the coast from NEOM

An ultra-luxurious destination on Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast of the Red Sea has been announced by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).  The “Amaala” resort, already being dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East”, will be focused upon wellness, healthy living and meditation and is located a few hundred miles down the Red Sea coast from NEOM in 2028.

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NEOM aims to drive transformation of Saudi Arabia

NEOM was born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life.

The team behind the NEOM mega-city project in Saudi Arabia said recently that they have begun environmental, archaeological and geological surveys to ensure successful and sustainable execution of future constructions.

NEOM was born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life. A press statement released when the project was first announced in October last year, stated that NEOM aims to thrive the transformation of the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.

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