Neom appoints advisory board members. Courtesy: Saudi Press Agency
Neom appoints advisory board members. Courtesy: Saudi Press Agency

Saudi Arabia's planned mega-city Neom hires industry veterans



Saudi Arabia's $500 billion mega-city Neom appointed 18 executives to its advisory board including top executives from the urban planning, technology, sustainability, energy and manufacturing sectors.

The kingdom's picks feature a who's who of Silicon Valley executives such as Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former chief executive of ride-hailing app Uber, and Japan's Softbank Group chairman Masayoshi Son.

"The advisory board will help shape Neom’s future through its detailed knowledge and connections with potential long-term strategic partners," said Nadhmi Al Nasr, chief executive of Neom.

Neom is a planned futuristic high-tech city and industrial zone, extending into Egypt and Jordan, that is part of the kingdom's economic reform agenda spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to create jobs and attract foreign investment.

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The appointed members held talks with Neom chiefs at a meeting in New York in August to review its strategy and discuss updates on the project, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Other advisory board members include Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, who founded software companies including Opsware, Mosaic, Netscape and Ning. Mr Andreessen also sits on the board of  Facebook, eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise among others.

Dan Doctoroff, founder and chief executive of Sidewalk Labs, is also on the board. Mr Doctoroff  was president and chief executive of Bloomberg LP, with previous roles including deputy mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding in New York and managing partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners. He serves on the boards of the University of Chicago, World Resources Institute, the US Olympic Committee, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Human Rights First.

Additional members of the advisory board will be announced as they are appointed, according to SPA.

NEOM is a major feature of the Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious blueprint to diversify its economy away from oil and modernize society. The zone is located in north-western Saudi Arabia and is set to include territory from within the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, to span a total area of 26,500 square kilometers.

NEOM’s contribution to the kingdom’s GDP is projected to reach at least $100 billion by 2030, according to its website.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Kinetic 7
Started: 2018
Founder: Rick Parish
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded

Company profile

Date started: January, 2014

Founders: Mike Dawson, Varuna Singh, and Benita Rowe

Based: Dubai

Sector: Education technology

Size: Five employees

Investment: $100,000 from the ExpoLive Innovation Grant programme in 2018 and an initial $30,000 pre-seed investment from the Turn8 Accelerator in 2014. Most of the projects are government funded.

Partners/incubators: Turn8 Accelerator; In5 Innovation Centre; Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme; Dubai Future Accelerators; FHI 360; VSO and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3)

SCORES IN BRIEF

Lahore Qalandars 186 for 4 in 19.4 overs
(Sohail 100,Phil Salt 37 not out, Bilal Irshad 30, Josh Poysden 2-26)
bt Yorkshire Vikings 184 for 5 in 20 overs
(Jonathan Tattersall 36, Harry Brook 37, Gary Ballance 33, Adam Lyth 32, Shaheen Afridi 2-36).

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

RESULT

Manchester City 5 Swansea City 0
Man City:
D Silva (12'), Sterling (16'), De Bruyne (54' ), B Silva (64' minutes), Jesus (88')

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Temple numbers

Expected completion: 2022

Height: 24 meters

Ground floor banquet hall: 370 square metres to accommodate about 750 people

Ground floor multipurpose hall: 92 square metres for up to 200 people

First floor main Prayer Hall: 465 square metres to hold 1,500 people at a time

First floor terrace areas: 2,30 square metres  

Temple will be spread over 6,900 square metres

Structure includes two basements, ground and first floor 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

The biog

Most memorable achievement: Leading my first city-wide charity campaign in Toronto holds a special place in my heart. It was for Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women program and showed me the power of how communities can come together in the smallest ways to have such wide impact.

Favourite film: Childhood favourite would be Disney’s Jungle Book and classic favourite Gone With The Wind.

Favourite book: To Kill A Mockingbird for a timeless story on justice and courage and Harry Potters for my love of all things magical.

Favourite quote: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

Favourite food: Dim sum

Favourite place to travel to: Anywhere with natural beauty, wildlife and awe-inspiring sunsets.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final:

First leg: Liverpool 5 Roma 2

Second leg: Wednesday, May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: BeIN Sports, 10.45pm (UAE)

Stree

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Movies
Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee
Rating: 3.5

Women’s World T20, Asia Qualifier

UAE results
Beat China by 16 runs
Lost to Thailand by 10 wickets
Beat Nepal by five runs
Beat Hong Kong by eight wickets
Beat Malaysia by 34 runs

Standings (P, W, l, NR, points)

1. Thailand 5 4 0 1 9
2. UAE 5 4 1 0 8
3. Nepal 5 2 1 2 6
4. Hong Kong 5 2 2 1 5
5. Malaysia 5 1 4 0 2
6. China 5 0 5 0 0

Final
Thailand v UAE, Monday, 7am