The governmentof Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans for a $500bn new economic zone known as NEOM in the kingdom’s northwestern region.
NEOM will encompass over 26,500 sq km, overlooking the waterfront of the Red Sea to the South and the West, and the Gulf of Aqaba. The city’s land mass will also extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders.
The new economic zone will have fully-automated services and processes and will adhere to the highest sustainability norms. The project will be backed by the government of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), alongside local and international investors.
Saudi Arabia crown prince and chairman of the PIF Mohammed bin Salman said: "NEOM will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects.
“Future technologies form the cornerstone for NEOM's development: Disruptive solutions for transportation from automated driving to passenger drones, new ways of growing and processing food, healthcare centered around the patient for their holistic well-being, wireless high speed internet as a free good called "digital air", free world-class continuous online education, full scale e-governance putting city services at your fingertips, building codes that make net-zero carbon houses the standard, a city layout that encourages walking and bicycling and all solely powered by renewable energy just to name a few."