Stanford University in California Asks Five Questions of Saudi MBA Alumnus Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO And Managing Director Of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)
SUSTG.org | Lucien Zeigler | 4.3.13
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is set to astonish the world when completed. Here's an interview with KAEC's CEO, Fahd Al-Rasheed, a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is set to astonish the world when completed, and it is only one of four brand new cities that will be constructed by the Kingdom in the coming years. At a cost of more than $100 billion, Saudi Arabia began construction on four new economic cities designed to accommodate up to 5 million residents.
KAEC alone is expected to have more than 2 million residents by 2030, and is being built by the private sector.
Fahd Al-Rasheed, a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business with an MBA in 2005, is now CEO of the KAEC, which is publicly listed in Saudi Arabia. He gives a very insightful interview with his alma mater, answering five questions about how Saudi Arabia is building ‘a City for Tomorrow’.
He notes that along with the booming economy in Saudi Arabia (which he listed as being ‘easier’ than expected), a key challenge is time:
“Of course, what makes it all more challenging is that you have to do it all within a few years and in commercially sustainable way. It reminds me of taking the GMAT — answering any of the questions is relatively easy if you are given the time. But to get a good score you have to answer as many of the questions right as possible within a very limited time frame, so you have to become very effective at deciding when a question is too hard to justify the extra time answering with rigor, make a call, and move on to the next one.”
Below is a SUSTG original infographic with basic information about Saudi Arabia’s Economic Cities:
Al-Rasheed told Construction Week Online in July of 2012, “For a project this big to be successful, it has to be based on sustainable economic foundation…It cannot be ‘build it and they will come’ — it has to be focused on what the country can offer, what it needs, what is the competitive advantage, and so on.”
This image apparently shows the KAEC masterplan from above.
According to his biography on the World Economic Forum website, Fahd Al-Rasheed’s resume includes:
-Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Economic City, a publicly listed Saudi company leading the development of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)
-Former Deputy Governor and Chief Financial Officer of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
-Former Saudi Aramco’s Finance Division employee where he led initiatives in investments and corporate finance.
-Board Member of several organizations including the Ports Development Company and the Jeddah Chapter of the Young President Organization.
-Member of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on Real Estate and an active member of the SAGIA Public Arts Council.
-MBA from the Stanford Business School and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Washington University in St Louis.