Babylon NEOM

Saudi Arabia still moving ahead with NEOM

Blog note: Investment in NEOM Babylon will continue unabated. “Follow the money”. End of Note.

OCTOBER 25, 2018. Reuters.

Saudi Arabia still moving ahead with NEOM

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is still moving ahead with three major development projects, NEOM, the Red Sea tourism project, and an entertainment development that will include a Six Flags theme park.

The global outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has prompted some Western companies to put partnerships on hold, or hold off from taking funds from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. British billionaire Richard Branson earlier this month said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Saudi Arabia’s mega business zone called NEOM is still proceeding with prospective partners, despite the fallout over Khashoggi, NEOM’s chief executive Nadhmi al-Nasr said on Thursday. “I’ve had tens of meetings last couple of days with all the partners we’ve been talking to for last few years. The feeling is ‘let’s go,’” al-Nasr said. There will be 16 sectors in the NEOM economy, sectors that are meant to become competitive multinational corporations, al-Nasr said. Sector planning will last until May or June 2019, then construction will begin.

Reporting by Katie Paul, Marwa Rashad, writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh, editing by Alexander Smith and David Evan

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