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Saudi Arabia wants to build a $500 billion megacity that's 33 times as large as New York City. Now it's on shaky ground after a Saudi journalist's disappearance.

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James Finch
Oct 19, 2018 20:16
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The development is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030, a plan to diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-driven economy.

In light of this news, the megacity has lost many of its high-profile advisers, including the head of Y Combinator, Sam Altman, and former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

In the days since Khashoggi went missing on October 2, at least two board members have pulled out of a megacity development backed by $500 billion in investments.

Its name, NEOM — a nod to the Arabic terms for "new future" — symbolizes its utopian vision of robot workers and drone taxis.

The project is closely tied to the Saudi Arabian government, and particularly to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi had criticized in his writing.

Turkish officials now claim that the journalist's alleged murder was carried out by 15 Saudi men, including those with high-level government connections.

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James Finch
Oct 19, 2018 20:16
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