Top tech execs will help Saudi Arabia build its mega city (NEOM) of the future

Blog note. I have posted many previous blogs and third-party written articles about the rise of NEOM (Babylon) in Saudi Arabia. Although NEOM was not specifically mentioned in this particular article, it was alluded to since it is part of Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize Saudi Arabia. If you have not read any of my previous blogs or articles, NEOM is the world’s largest planned city (in terms of square miles or kilometers) in a corner of the country flanked by the Sea of Aqaba and the Red Sed. This visionary city or Babylon-in-the-desert is so grand in planned design that it can’t be described in just one article. Hence, I have included a detailed analysis in previous, sequential blogs. You can research this development yourself. The “great city” as described in the Bible’s book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ receives a very large portion of prophetic / eschatological attention. NEOM, in Saudi Arabia, meets every description of Babylon described in Revelation. It has seven mountains, it will accept all religions of the world, it has extreme wealth and technology, it is a world class city that will attract all nations, tribes, tongues, nationalities, it will feature a “delicious” lifestyle based on extremely attractive living conditions and wealth. Any reference to Jesus Christ is completely missing or absent. Proselytizing (attempts to convert someone from one religion to another) is strictly prohibited. The businessmen who trade with and help build NEOM will become fabulously wealthy. The world’s largest sovereign wealth/investment fund is being established ($2 Trillion) to fund NEOM’s launch and growth.  As previously stated, there is a wealth of evidence to support the startup and growth of NEOM as being the “fabled” city of the future as described in Revelation. When is all this supposed to start? Bin Salman has gone on record indicating 2020. That is a short sixteen (16) months away. If you have read some of my recent blogs, you will quickly recall that there are several other “ominous” events planned to be enforced worldwide in 2020 that coincide with the establishment of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Babylon is NEOM, not Rome, not Vatican City, not Mecca. End of note.

Top tech execs will help Saudi Arabia build its mega city of the future

By Zahraa Alkhalisi, CNN Business. Updated 9:33 AM ET, Thu October 11, 2018

Dubai (CNN Business) Saudi Arabia is attracting big names from around the world to advise on one of its most ambitious projects — building a futuristic mega city — even as questions mount about its role in the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, SoftBank (SFTBF) CEO Masayoshi Son, venture capitalist and Facebook (FB) board member Marc Andreessen and Y Combinator President Sam Altman, are among the tech, science and business heavyweights who have agreed to serve on the project’s advisory board, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. Andreessen declined to comment about the project. Kalanick, Son and Altman did not respond to CNN requests for comment.

Others are distancing themselves from the $500 billion project, known as NEOM.

Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company owned by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), said his name should not have been on a list of advisers published by NEOM. Ernest Moniz, the former US Energy Secretary under President Barack Obama, said Wednesday he was suspending his participation on the advisory board “given current events.”

“Going forward, my engagement with the advisory board will depend on learning all the facts about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance over the coming days and weeks,” he said in a statement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the NEOM city a year ago, sitting alongside SoftBank’s Son at an investment conference in Riyadh. Son described the plan to build an automated city of self-driving cars and passenger drones from scratch as a “fantastic opportunity.” It’s one of the centerpieces of bin Salman’s Vision 2030, a blueprint for reshaping the kingdom’s economy by increasing foreign investment, boosting tourism and selling a stake in its giant state oil company, Aramco.

But the Aramco IPO has been put on hold. And Saudi Arabia is facing growing international pressure over a crackdown on dissent. A recent wave of arrests has targeted clerics and human rights advocates. Now, US intelligence is trying to determine whether the highest levels of the Saudi government were involved in the disappearance of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was last seen more than a week ago entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the “highest levels of the royal court” in Saudi Arabia ordered his assassination, according to a senior official cited by The New York Times.

Saudi Arabia has strenuously denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“At this stage, our priority is to support the investigation, as opposed to responding to evolving comments not directly related to those efforts,” a senior Saudi official told CNN on Wednesday.

The composition of the NEOM advisory board underscores the deep ties that already exist between the global tech industry and the kingdom.

Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns stakes in Apple (AAPL) and Twitter (TWTR) and recently acquired a 2.3% stake in Snapchat (SNAP). Softbank and Saudi Arabia joined forces in 2016 to create the Softbank Vision Fund, raising $100 billion to spend on tech businesses. Its latest investments include $2.25 billion for GM’s (GM) self driving unit. Saudi Arabia has also pumped billions into Uber and last month agreed to invest $1 billion in Lucid, a potential rival to Tesla (TSLA), having previously bought nearly 5% of Elon Musk’s electric carmaker.

“Each of the Advisory Board members has been carefully chosen,” the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement on Tuesday listing the members. Additional members may be appointed, it added. Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert and former European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes have also agreed to serve on the advisory board, according to the SPA.

Sara O’Brien and Laurie Segall contributed to this article.

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