Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Neom: A New Destination in Saudi Arabia’s Political Landscape

Neom: A New Destination in Saudi Arabia’s Political Landscape

Tuesday, 13 July, 2021 - 06:45
Crown Prince Mohammed and the Sultan of Oman at Neom’s Center for Knowledge Enrichment. (SPA)

A unique visit by Oman’s ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, has shed even more light on Saudi Arabia’s promising northwestern city of Neom, where Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz received his guest.

Official visits to the Kingdom have been curbed by the coronavirus pandemic, but with the world somewhat standing on the verge of partially containing the virus, state leaders are gradually resuming foreign visits.

Marking the visit, Omani and Saudi flags fluttered high over the streets and squares of the futuristic “Dream City.”

Moreover, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, accompanied Sultan Haitham on a tour of Neom’s Center for Knowledge Enrichment, which showcases the latest developments of Neom projects and sectors.

The Sultan was briefed on other significant projects such as AlUla, Qiddiya, Amaala and the Red Sea.

At the end of his visit to the center, Sultan Tariq left a message in the VIP register, praising the Kingdom’s efforts in building Neom and affirming that the cross-border city “will have an economic standing in the world as planned.”

Considered the jewel of the Kingdom’s mega projects, Neom started rightfully making headlines and assuming its suitable place in hosting critical political events that were held in other major Saudi cities.

Riyadh, Taif, Jeddah and Makkah were the cities traditionally known for hosting the signing of significant political agreements and witnessed events that shaped the entire region.

Today, Neom, together with other newly revamped Saudi cities, has started to become associated with the series of vital events that are part and parcel of Saudi Arabia’s political landscape.

This evolution can be tied to the Saudi leadership’s ambitious plan for national transformation and its decision to activate all domestic potentials.

Tourist, economic and investment sectors of the Kingdom have proven more than qualified to play a role in the future of both Saudi Arabia and the region.

For example, AlUla, one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula and home to Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, hosted a historic Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in early 2021.

The summit revived intra-GCC relations and united ranks at a crucial point in time to face regional challenges.

Meanwhile, the city of Dhahran, a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry, hosted the Arab League’s 29th summit on April 15, 2018.

Editor Picks