Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Aspires to Become World’s Future Economic, Scientific Capitals
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced on Tuesday the launch of a new $500 billion project to turn the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.
Stemming from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, NEOM aims at becoming one of the world’s future economic and scientific capitals while developing the country into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life.
“NEOM will focus on nine specialized investment sectors and living conditions that will drive the future of human civilization, energy and water, mobility, biotech, food, technological and digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media, and entertainment with livability as its foundation,” the Crown Prince said.
Boosting these sectors will, therefore, stimulate economic growth and diversification by nurturing international innovation and manufacturing, to drive local industry, job creation, and GDP growth in the Kingdom, he further explained.
With the ambition of becoming the future commerce capital of Saudi Arabia, NEOM is set to attract new foreign direct investment that will contribute to PIF’s long-term growth strategy aimed at strengthening the Saudi Arabian economy.
“NEOM will attract private as well as public investments and partnerships. NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, local as well as international investors”, he added.
With a strategic location that brings about constant breeze and mild temperatures, NEOM will be powered solely by regenerative energy.
Residing in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia over 26,500 km2, NEOM brings together the best of Arabia, Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The future city will overlook the waterfront of the Red Sea to the South and the West, and the Gulf of Aqaba, enjoying an uninterrupted coastline stretching over 468 km, with a dramatic mountain backdrop rising to 2,500 m to the East.
“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,” the Crown Prince stated.
NEOM sits atop one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries, through which nearly a tenth of the world’s trade flows. Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa, enabling 70 percent of the world's population to reach it in under eight hours, which brings the potential to combine the best of major global regions in terms of knowledge, technology, research, teaching, learning, living and working.
Speaking on future technologies that will form the cornerstone for NEOM’s development, Prince Mohammed mentioned an array of remarkable plans and solutions, including 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.
All services and processes in NEOM will be completely fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world, and in turn be implemented in all activities such as legal, government, and investment procedures among others. Additionally, NEOM will be subject to the highest sustainability standards and will provide all transactions, procedures, and claims through paperless and electronic means.
“All of this will allow for a new way of life to emerge that takes into account the ambitions and outlooks of humankind paired with best future technologies and outstanding economic prospects”, His Royal Highness added.
The site will also become the main entrance to the King Salman Bridge, linking Asia and Africa, which will add to the zone’s economic significance. NEOM’s land mass will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, rendering NEOM the first private zone to span three countries.