Saudi’s Crown Prince on $500B city: We want to live a normal life

By Julia Limitone
Published October 24, 2017
FOXBusiness

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday that NEOM, the Kingdom’s newest $500 billion mega city, provides great opportunities for investors.

“We have opportunities today that seem as if it’s a Saudi’s market, a demand outside of Saudi Arabia -- $100 billion exceptional capability. A side allocation distinguished between three continents with crossings through the Red Sea, mountains, valleys, beaches, islands,” he said.

The Prince appointed Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld – former chairman and CEO of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and Arconic Inc. (NYSE:ARNC) – as CEO.  It will be built in the country’s northwest region on untouched land along the Red Sea coastline near Egypt and Jordan and run entirely on alternative energy. Bin Salman said it would be an innovation hub for the future and give Saudi Arabia the chance to work with other companies, investors and entrepreneurs to “transfer to a new generation of life and cities and technologies and health.”

The nation, rich with resources, is becoming more progressive, recently announcing that it would allow women to drive and welcome foreign investment. While the Prince tiptoed around political rhetoric, he said the region would like to return to “moderate Islam that is open to the world… [and] all the religions” and added extremist ideas would be destroyed.

“We want to live a normal life, a life that translates our moderate religion, our good customs, we coexist and live with the world. We contribute to the development of our country and the world. This is something that there are steps we have taken that are clear. I believe that we will eradicate the rest of extremism very soon,” the Prince said.

The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, which the crown prince chairs, the Saudi government and global technology firms will help build the city.

The Associates Press contributed to this report.