NEOM, the Saudi smart city dream, has become a reality. It is an advanced industrial, commercial, and residential center that embodies self-sufficiency in clean energy, innovation, technology, and environmental sustainability. Located on the northwest coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, NEOM extends over an area of 26,500 km2.
The name NEOM symbolizes its vision of a “new future,” combining the Greek prefix “neo” meaning “new” and the Arabic prefix “m” from the word “Mostakbal”, meaning “future”.
On October 24th, 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the ambitious project at the Future Investment Initiative conference. The project aims to achieve economic and social openness, reduce dependence on oil revenues, and increase non-oil public revenues from 162 billion riyals to 1000 billion riyals by attracting foreign investment by 2030.
NEOM is the most expensive and ambitious project in the history of the Kingdom and is supported by the Public Investment Fund, along with local and international investors. The project includes four areas: Sindalah, Trojena, Oxagon and The Line, with its lifestyle dependent on integrating smart city technologies.
The Kingdom and Egypt have established a joint fund of $10 billion to develop lands located within the project’s scope in southern Sinai, covering an area of over 1000 km2. The Saudi side of the project will include the construction of a tourism project comprising four cities and 50 resorts, while Egypt will develop Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada resorts.
NEOM is a private investment zone subject to sovereign regulations, exempt from legal restrictions on business, such as taxes, customs, and labor laws, providing services and products at competitive global prices.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2025, with 20% of the infrastructure already completed, a key factor in moving forward with subsequent construction phases.
Sindalah is the first destination designed by the NEOM project, located on the Red Sea coast in Tabuk, offering an ideal climate all year round.
This upscale sea destination for tourism features three enormous hotels with a total of 750 rooms and apartments, a marina with 86 berths for luxurious yachts and a spa.
The project plans to open its doors by 2024 and is expected to attract the world’s wealthy.
Trojena occupies a stunning location among the mountains of Tabuk, covering an area of 50 km from the Gulf of Aqaba’s coast, ranging between 1500 m to 2600 m above sea level.
The city includes a vast artificial lake, hotels, chalets, and villas that can accommodate up to 9 million people by 2045, scheduled for completion by 2026 and planning to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
Located on the northeast Red Sea coast of the Kingdom, Oxagon is set to become the world’s largest octagonal floating structure, a port and logistics center for the NEOM project.
The city is designed to take advantage of shipping through the Suez Canal as it is built around bodies of water connected by small canals. It will also include a cruise terminal and an oceanographic research center.
The project will create job opportunities for Saudi youth and contribute to protect the environment.
The Line is the most impressive among NEOM’s cities thanks to its new concept of urban design. It is supposed to be a linear city with a reflective facade that allows the future structure to merge with nature in an invisible way.
Located in the heart of Neom, the city extends over 170 km, at a height of 500 m above sea level, and a width of 200 m, connecting the Red Sea coast with the mountains of northwestern Saudi Arabia.
The zero-gravity model adopts a vertical division of homes, public spaces, pedestrian areas and workplaces, enabling citizens to move easily without the need for transportation. Schools, facilities, shops and more are within a 15 minutes walk and a high-speed train connects both ends of the city in 20 minutes.
The Line relies entirely on renewable energy to ensure complete decarbonisation, making it an example of a high-tech city addressing housing crises and climate change. The project is divided into three levels: the roof dedicated to pedestrians, while the two floors underground house the infrastructure and transportation.
About 95% of The Line will be landscaped and its residential capacity will accommodate 9 million people.
Being the crossroads of the world, The Line will allow over 40% of the world’s population to reach NEOM by air in less than four hours.
Companies entrusted with implementing the project:
The Kingdom awarded contracts worth 15 billion riyals out of $500 billion to specialized companies to complete all phases of the project regardless of its needs.
NEOM is the developer of the future project, operating with the support of the Public Investment Fund. Companies such as Samsung C&T Saudi Arabia, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, FCC Construction SA, the Chinese State Construction, Engineering, Shebh Al Jazeera Contracting, Hanmi Global, Bechtel Construction, Al-Saif Contracting Establishment, Modern Arab Building Establishment, Nesma, and Al Bawani are among those entrusted with implementing the project.
NEOM employs the best young national talents and competencies in various fields worldwide. According to Mr. Amin Bukhari, Executive Director of Human Resources, NEOM provides excellent opportunities in various sectors and industries and enhances them in an innovative future environment.
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