Saudi Arabia’s and the U.S.A’s relationship is at a low point. The United States harshly criticizes Saudi Arabia because of its policies. Yet, this has not prevented some billionaire investors and Wall Street executives from attending a conference in Riyadh nicknamed Davos in the Desert.

The conference has had some issues in the past. It began in 2017 and aimed to compete with the World Economic Forum’s yearly meetings in Davos, Switzerland, which have convened for over 50 years. The World Economic Forum’s annual conferences attract global leaders, political scientists, economists, and media personalities.

On Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, David Solomon and Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officers of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase, respectively shared a stage with Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund and Stephen Schwarzman, the co-founder, CEO and chairman of The Blackstone Group.

Top executives of various large banks worldwide, including Wells Fargo and other billionaires, are attending the event. They are laying the groundwork for deals. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Therefore, on one level, Davos in the Desert 2022 is an obvious move. Investors can make money in Saudi Arabia. According to one of the occasion’s participants, the country is pouring billions of dollars into renewable energy. Saudi Arabia also has over half a trillion dollars in an investment fund under the government’s control. The conference is also Saudi Arabia’s way of showcasing its ambitions beyond oil.

The nation is trying to get into investments in what it views as futuristic sectors. There are panels on cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and sports. Saudi Arabia is also investing tens of millions of dollars into a golf league with the hope that it will rival the PGA. The country also considers its foreign policy to be more assertive. It has more confidence that it can attract investors from other countries.