Babylon NEOM

Meet Saudi Arabia’s ‘Tech Prince’, Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal

Blog note: An interesting dichotomy. If you criticize Prince Mohammed Bin Salman you get attacked, cut up and thrown in acid (Khashoggi). Please pay special attention to the fawning and praise heaped upon Prince Mohammed Bin Salman by ‘Tech Prince’ Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal in the section below titled ‘Vision 2030’. Price MBS can do no wrong, is visionary, is very humble, he has high moral grounds and integrity. The ‘Tech Prince’ says, I will always be behind His Highness and by His Majesty’s side, and by Saudi Arabia’s side”.  Given the international outcry regarding the Saudi’s admitted slaying of Khashoggi, and the conflicting lies, I believe most of the world would NOT agree with the ‘Tech Prince’s’ assessment of Mohammed Bin Salman’s ethical or moral character. The ‘Tech Prince’ appears to have drank the official Saudi Arabian brand of “Kool-Aid” and kow-tows, hook-line-and-sinker behind MBS. This bears commenting on given what happened to Khashoggi and what is currently happening in Saudi Arabia as it transitions into the “new future” as envisioned by Mohammed Bin Salman in his 2030 plan and efforts to build ‘the great city’ known as NEOM (Babylon). End of note.

 Meet Saudi Arabia’s ‘Tech Prince’, Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal is using canny investments in a wide range of Silicon Valley tech firms to help the planet, bring global knowhow to the Middle East and boost his bottom line

Sun 04 Nov 2018 07:43 AM. Arabian Business.

(Article Excerpts)

In addition, each investment is in a company that KBW Ventures believes has the capacity to impact the planet positively in the future, while Prince Khaled also says that bringing the very best that Silicon Valley has to offer to the Middle East is also a prime consideration.

“Right now, every company that I’ve worked with, we’ve set out plans for them to come into the region,” he says. “Why? Not because of how promising the region is, but I believe the region can benefit from amazing companies, amazing technology, amazing thinkers and driven entrepreneurs. Our economy and our people need new ideas and fresh blood. Sure, we’re getting some ideas organically from the region, but to get some influence internationally is something I’m a very big proponent of.

Saudi Arabia, in particular, is a key area of focus for Prince Khaled in the near term, as the kingdom seeks to diversify its economy away from oil as part of the Vision 2030 plan. Not only will Arada, the developer that forms part of the KBW Investments portfolio, be launching projects in Saudi Arabia in the not-too-distant future, but KBW Ventures will be making a sizeable play in the entertainment space, a new multi-billion-dollar industry for the country.

“I said this has to be in Saudi, but it has to be bigger, it has to be geared for the Saudi population,” he says. “They’re really interested in partnering with us and entertainment is what I’m really interested in driving towards with regard to 2030. For me, within the next five to seven years, there won’t be a need for any zoos in Saudi Arabia, you’ll have Ocean Odyssey, and [we’re also considering] this idea of having an experiential indoor theme park that can also be a virtual zoo.”

2030 Vision

Prince Khaled is also quick to praise the architect of the 2030 Vision, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and a man he had previously referred to as a friend.

“We are friends; but obviously our relationship is very much on a professional level: he’s the Crown Prince and I treat him as such,” Prince Khaled says. “I look up to King Salman and to Prince Mohammed bin Salman so much. King Salman, or Prince Salman as he was when he was the Governor of Riyadh, has been a huge influence on my life. The way he conducted himself and the way he transformed Riyadh into what it is today is something I’m in awe of.

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman was always with His Majesty when he was Governor of Riyadh, so I got to know him during that time. He’s been a very positive influence for the country and the region. He’s a man of high moral grounds and integrity, very humble and demanding. Demanding for results that is.

“This country has seen dramatic positive shifts in the past few years and that’s all because of His Highness’ vision and courage to make these visions into a reality. I do know him personally, and we do interact. I respect his privacy and I respect his enormous responsibilities. I will always be behind His Highness and by His Majesty’s side, and by Saudi Arabia’s side; especially if there’s anything I can do to help.”

Prince Khaled on…change in Saudi Arabia

“My sister was one of the first to drive, she’s driving all over the place. But life in general is different, it’s much more open, it’s much more what Saudi Arabia really is, and how the Saudi people really are. Open, no restrictions on abayas or clothes – sure enough you have to be modest, but the abayas don’t have to be there. There’s a real change in Saudi Arabia right now. Some people want to wear the abaya, they have a culture that they want to hold on to, which they love, and some people don’t, but there’s no wagging the finger. It’s a really open environment right now, it has transformed so much.”

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