Klaus Kleinfeld named adviser to Saudi crown prince, NEOM appoints new CEO

Klaus Kleinfeld had started to lay foundation to the realization of NEOM in June 2017. (SPA/File)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Klaus Kleinfeld named adviser to Saudi crown prince, NEOM appoints new CEO

  • Kleinfeld is set to begin his role in August
  • Nadhmi Al-Nasr will take over from Kleinfeld as NEOM CEO

JEDDAH: Klaus Kleinfeld, who was tasked with developing the NEOM project in northern Saudi Arabia, has been appointed as an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom announced.

Kleinfeld “will take over wider responsibilities to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia,” said a statement.

The German, who is former chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc., and former president and CEO of Siemens AG, is set to begin his role on August 1, 2018, with new NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr taking the helm of the ambitious Saudi project on the same day.

Al-Nasr, who has over 30 plus years of experience with Saudi Aramco and most recently has been the Interim President for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), had worked on developing the strategy and development of NEOM Bay, one of the initial stages of NEOM’s development.  


Nadhmi Al-Nasr, left, will replace Klaus Kleinfeld as CEO of NEOM in August

The Kingdom, in October 2017, announced plans to build the $500 billion mega city on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, as part of a huge national push to diversify its economy.

“The focus on these sectors will stimulate economic growth and diversification by nurturing international innovation and manufacturing, to drive local industry, job creation, and GDP growth in the Kingdom,” said Prince Mohammed, who is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“Klaus Kleinfeld had started to lay foundation to the realization of NEOM in June 2017. He built up a team of world class project people and developed – together with the founding board of NEOM — the strategy, the face and the future appearance of NEOM,” the statement said.


Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

Archaeological treasures in the northwestern region of the Kingdom are older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world. (AFP)
Updated 1 min 19 sec ago
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Traveling back thousands of years by reviving KSA's Al-Ula

  • The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition

JEDDAH: Bathing in the scorching sun of Saudi Arabia for the past 4,000 years and sitting among the sandy dunes of the northwestern region of the Kingdom, lie the country’s archaeological treasures. These treasures are even older than Saudi Arabia itself, and barely known to the world.
The area covers about 52 hectares of well-preserved land in which there are tombs handcrafted out of the rocks, relics from ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and the Romans, archaeological riches dating back 4,000 years and other priceless artifacts from the Ottoman Empire.
The somewhat forgotten land is going to be brought into the spotlight by the year 2020 as a historic collaboration takes place between Saudi Arabia and France.
France excels in the art of preserving history so it is the perfect alliance to meet the goals of making Al-Ula a tourist attraction.
Saudis are cooperating with France in preserving and promoting culture and archaeology.
The French consider this project so prestigious that Gerard Mestrallet, a special envoy of the president, has been appointed for Al-Ula. Both countries share a common approach to national heritage; that culture transcends all borders and should be accessible to all who seek to observe history.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Al-Ula governor, the special envoy to Al-Ula and France’s foreign minister. Against the walls of Paris’s Musee De Arts Decoratifs — a wing of the Louvre Palace — sit the illuminated sandstones for the French to experience a sliver of Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage. The Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU) has signed an agreement with Campus France, described as the leading international academic and vocational public institution in France, to train young Saudi women and men to become aspiring archaeologists.
The RCU is joining forces with the Arab World Institute in Paris to produce a touring exhibition. Public transport, hotels and restaurants are also part of the plan.
More than 2,100 people applied for traineeships: 200 young Saudi men and women will be trained by the most prestigious institutes in the world; part of the 1.2 million new tourist jobs are expected to be created under Vision 2030.
Cutting-edge technologies and methods such as aerial LiDAR (light detection and ranging), scanning and photos taken from light aircraft, helicopter and drones will also be used.