US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner plan to attend this year’s “Davos in the Desert,” a Saudi Arabian economic conference the US and many others skipped last year after Saudi security agents murdered Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
According to a federal procurement filing reviewed by Quartz, the State Department recently booked 45 rooms at Riyadh’s Burj Rafal Hotel in support of the two “VVIP visitors” taking part in the kingdom’s third annual Future Investment Initiative, as the event is officially known.
From a late September Washington Post report:
Senior executives from blue-chip firms including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and BlackRock will be returning to the kingdom for the conference dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” according to an attendees list reviewed by The Post.
More than 150 executives have confirmed their attendance, the list shows, including more than 40 executives representing U.S. companies.
The head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund was attending, along with other executives who represent major banks, tech companies, business conglomerates and defense contractors from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and several European states.
Rooms at the 70-story Burj Rafal start at around $500. The hotel is sold out for the conference.