In Riyadh last week the Public Investment Fund (PIF) launched the Future Investment Initiative (FII), with the goal of providing ‘a platform for objective, expert-led debate on both current and long-term global investment trends’. The inaugural session of the four-day event was chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who announced the creation of Neom, a mega-city to be built in North-West Saudi Arabia.
The $500bn futuristic megacity, reportedly free from the Kingdom’s usual restrictions, will harness the area’s considerable wind and solar resources to be entirely energy-independent and will be supported in part by corporations such as Siemens, SoftBank and Blackstone.
The Crown Prince, known informally as MbS, also declared the Kingdom’s return to a more ‘moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world and to all traditions and people’. The announcement comes at an exciting time for Saudi, which is looking to move away from its oil dependence and to create a society with more opportunities for its citizens, particularly women.
Click here to read more about the FII and Neom.