Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi Arabia to hold WEF meeting in April

The WEF meeting is part of what Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan has said is 'a strong Saudi' that can help the region Reuters
The WEF meeting is part of what Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan has said is 'a strong Saudi' that can help the region
  • WEF meeting on 28-29 April
  • First outside Davos since pandemic
  • Aims to establish Saudi as stable

Saudi Arabia plans to host a World Economic Forum meeting in April, the first WEF gathering outside the Swiss ski resort of Davos since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia’s economy minister Faisal Alibrahim told Reuters on 18 January, during the current meeting in Davos, that the meeting will be held on 28-29 April. It aims to brand the kingdom as an oasis of stability. 

WEF president Borge Brende said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had been involved in the talks on holding the April meeting. 

Set up in 1971 to develop its founder Klaus Schwab’s notion of “stakeholder capitalism”, WEF normally holds a summer and winter meeting of global political and business leaders at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. 

Since becoming a leading forum for globalisation in the 1990s, WEF has tried to pitch itself as the premier gathering of the world’s elites. 

Saudi Arabia tried to tap into the Davos energy when it dubbed its first Future Investment Initiative in 2017 as “Davos in the desert”.

WEF has held special Middle East forums in the past in Istanbul and at the Dead Sea in Jordan. Saudi Arabia is keen to present itself as centre of stability and economic activity, in light of the Gaza war. 

Now the Red Sea conflict between western powers and Houthi rebels in Yemen has raised fears that Saudi Arabia’s mammoth economic development projects could be at risk.

Government ministers have spoken at Davos this week touting the kingdom’s ongoing plans to diversify the economy away from oil. This is centred on giga-projects that have been valued so far at $1.25 trillion and led one real estate consultancy to describe the country as the world’s biggest ever construction site

Minister of finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan told CNN in Davos on 18 January the world was in need of “a strong Saudi” that can help sustain the region through the geopolitical shocks of recent years. 

“We are very determined to double down on what we are doing,” he said

Latest articles

Musicians perform at the Sharjah Ramadan Festival. Retailers offered discounts of up to 75% on local and international brands

Sharjah’s Ramadan retail sales peak at nearly $110m

Ramadan retail sales in Sharjah hit a new record high of AED400 million ($109 million) in 2024, reinforcing the positive outlook UAE companies had ahead of this year’s holy month. Sales jumped 25 percent year on year during the Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2024, which concluded last Saturday, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, quoting […]

Adnoc sought advice from investment banks on buying a significant stake in BP, a media report said

UAE’s Adnoc explored acquiring BP

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) explored the possibility of acquiring British oil major BP but abandoned the plan as it did not fit into its strategic growth objectives, a media report said.  The talks did not advance beyond the initial stages, Reuters reported, citing informed sources.  The UAE state oil company also sought advice […]

Nature, Undersea cables account for as much as 90 percent of Europe-Asia telecommunications, Water

Iraq and Kuwait team up for European telecom corridor

Iraq’s Informatics and Telecommunication Public Company, a division of the Ministry of Communications, has signed an agreement with Kuwait’s Zajil Telecom to create a telecommunications corridor from the Gulf region to Europe, transiting through Iraq and Turkey. The new route will pass through Iraqi sea and land ports. Iraq’s minister of communications Hayam Al-Yasiri said […]

An artist's impression of part of the Diriyah Square development

Diriyah Square planned for historic Riyadh district

A public space featuring 400 retail outlets and 100 restaurants and cafes is planned for the historic Riyadh district of Diriyah. Diriyah Square will be announced next week at the World Retail Congress in Paris and aims to attract a combination of international retail brands and local artisans.  Diriyah Gate Development Authority group CEO Jerry […]