Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on mission in Silicon Valley

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who already made a splash when word got out his entourage has booked the entire Four Seasons Hotel in East Palo Alto, is on a whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley technology companies.

According to sources, his stops Thursday include Facebook in Menlo Park, Google in Mountain View, and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale.

Saudi Arabia has had a relationship with Lockheed Martin for 53 years. The company is making two communications satellites that will supplement a network of eight existing satellites to provide broadband and other services across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. It's believed the Crown Prince will be visiting facilities and people working on the project.

RELATED: Saudi Arabian prince buys out Four Seasons in East Palo Alto for visit

The Crown Prince has launched an ambitious plan called Vision 2030 to focus Saudi Arabia away from its oil-based economy and toward a more diversified and more technology-based future.

Last fall, an international gathering of business and government leaders from across the world were invited to attend an event where the vision for a new tech-centric new city, Neom, was unveiled where it has claimed that robots will outnumber people.

Saudi Arabia is a major investor in technology through its Public Investment Fund.

Nearly two years ago, San Francisco-based Uber announced the fund had invested $3.5 billion into the ride-hailing company.
Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its human rights record, its treatment of women and its religious intolerance.

bin Salman appears to be leading changes to improve that record. On Thursday evening in San Francisco, a foundation backed by the Crown Prince is hosting an event to promote more women to take up careers and leadership in technology. A similar event was held Wednesday evening in Beverly Hills.

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