What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (2022)

Plans for a new smart city, called The Line, in Neom are part of the 2030 Vision to embrace a new economic era in the kingdom

What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (1)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (2)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (3)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (4)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (5)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (6)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (7)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (8)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (9)
What is Neom? All you need to know about Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity (10)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced The Line, a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads. Images courtesy Neom

With plans under way to build Saudi Arabia's smart city Neom, it is set to be a place in the desert unlike anything else on Earth.

(Video) Saudi Arabia's $500 Billion Dollar Mega City

Unveiling the project, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the 170-kilometre coastal strip in the north-west of the country would be free of cars and streets and have zero carbon emissions.

The smart city will be powered entirely by clean energy, a major step in Saudi Arabia's shift away from an oil-based economy.

The Line is to be built in Neom and will be home to nine million people, who will live in interconnected societies run by artificial intelligence designed to coexist with nature.

Confronting the traffic, pollution and infrastructure challenges that overshadow urban life in conventional cities, this futuristic development will prioritise walkability, clean energy and technology to create a new way of living.

Speaking at Tuesday's Global AI Summit in Riyadh, Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al Nasr said the city would make use of artificial intelligence technology to the fullest. He also confirmed that the planning phase of Neom had been successful and that work was progressing steadily.

What is Neom?

First unveiled by Prince Mohammed in 2017, Neom is Saudi Arabia's flagship business and tourism development on the Red Sea coast. It is a central project in the 2030 Vision outlining the kingdom's plans to diversify the economy.

The $500 billion development will include smart towns and cities, ports and enterprise areas, research centres, sports and entertainment venues and tourist centres.

The development will be spread across 26,500 square kilometres and will comprise several zones, including industrial and logistics areas. It is planned for completion in 2025.

The plans include a network of airports, including an international one. The first, called Neom Bay Airport in the northern region of Sharma, opened last year and operates regular flights for Neom investors and employees.

Chief urban development officer at Neom, Antoni Vives, said one of the largest international airports in the world would be ready before 2030.

A business and tech centre is expected to contribute $48bn to the kingdom's gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs. Construction of this is set to begin in the first quarter of this year.

(Video) UNVEILED Why NEOM Is Build: Saudi Arabia's $14.9 Billion Dollar MegaCity!

What is so special about it?

Neom is designed to respond to some of the most pressing global challenges facing urban areas and inspire an alternative way of living.

The city will preserve 95 per cent of the natural environment around the site, highlighting mankind's relationship with the natural world.

All energy in Neom will be 100 per cent renewable — from solar, wind and hydrogen-based power generation — ensuring a zero-emission, carbon-positive ecosystem.

Those behind the project say Neom will be a regional powerhouse in water production and storage, anchored on water desalination. High-tech interoperable, modular systems will attract water-related research companies and start-ups to drive innovation and lead in all sectors of the water industry.

Neom's water distribution network will be completely connected through advanced infrastructure. This will ensure minimal water loss, putting Neom at the forefront of water technology.

“Our game-changing desalination technology is 100 per cent carbon neutral and entirely sustainable," said David Reavley, chief executive of Solar Water. "In Neom, we have found a partner who has a strong vision of what a new future looks like in harmony with nature."

The Line project is the first time in 150 years that a major urban development has been designed around people, not roads. Walkability will define life in the city, with all essential daily services, such as schools, medical clinics, leisure centres and green spaces, within a five-minute walk.

High-speed transit will be among the ways residents will be able to travel longer distances, making all areas of Neom accessible within 20 minutes. An urban environment that prioritises walking, cycling and personal electric mobility devices will be enhanced by access to high-speed public transit services connecting all neighbourhoods.

Who is building it?

Development is already under way. Neom chief executive Nazmi Al Nasr said this week that there were plans for “five to six projects for resort development within the city, in parallel with The Line, with some resorts estimated to open after three years”.

The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the progress of the project has been minimal, he said. However, the biggest challenge is to acquire more global and national partnerships.

The urban planning and development of all projects was under way, he added, and more details will be announced after the completion of each of the site plans.

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Construction of The Line began in the first quarter of this year. Agreements have been signed with construction companies Aecom and Bechtel to develop an advanced transport infrastructure, making The Line one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the world.

A contract with Saudi Telecom Company was signed last year to provide a 5G network infrastructure that will accelerate Neom's digital ambitions.

Neom also signed a $5bn partnership with Acwa Power and Air Products in the US to develop the world's largest green hydrogen and green ammonia plant, to be operational in 2026.

Solar Water's technology will help Neom to work towards one of its aims of revolutionising the process of water desalination. This will help to solve the problem of access to fresh water in Saudi Arabia.

What is The Line in Neom?

The Line will have a mirror facade, which will allow even its footprint to “blend with nature”.

Speaking at the launch of The Line in July, Prince Mohammed emphasised the need to address mounting pressure on urban spaces and find solutions for a rapidly expanding global population.

The Line will be the first city in the world to be powered by renewable energy including wind, solar and hydrogen.

“By 2050, commute durations will double. By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising carbon dioxide emissions and sea levels,” he said.

He said that 90 per cent of people breathed polluted air.

“Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?” he said.

The Line will also be the world's first zero-gravity vertical city.

“The idea of layering city functions vertically, giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions to access them, is a concept referred to as zero-gravity urbanism,” Prince Mohammed said.

There will be a hyper rail line running through the city to boost travel. This rail line will be powered through a renewable-powered electric system.

How do Saudis feel about Neom?

“When I first heard about Neom in 2017, I thought it was the most incredible thing," said Hamid Al Kazim, a Saudi IT expert living in Riyadh. "I couldn't believe Saudi Arabia was going to do this, let alone be the first."

Layan Baker, a Saudi wellness expert in Jeddah, said she found the scope of the project inspiring.

“It is the boldest, most ambitious idea to come out of not just the kingdom, but this decade," she said. "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been the torchbearer of his ideas and is leading the country, especially its youth and future generations, into a modern era where man and nature can coexist and flourish in harmony."

Rawan Ahmed, a Saudi entrepreneur from the south-west port city of Jazan, told The National it was perhaps a surprise to the rest of the world that the kingdom was at the centre of such innovation.

“For us, it is a great moment in history — we have never felt this excitement before," she said. "It further instils the feeling of national pride, all thanks to the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under the leadership of King Salman.”

When will Neom be completed?

The Crown Prince had said in July that Neom would be partly financed through a flotation expected in 2024.

The city's first phase is set to cost 1.2 trillion riyals ($319bn), half of which will come from the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.

(Video) Saudi Arabia’s Line City Explained

The economic zone that is eventually set to house nine million people is expected to have capacity for 450,000 by 2026 and 1.5-2 million by 2030, he said. It will eventually house nine million people by 2045.

FAQs

What is NEOM known for? ›

First unveiled by Prince Mohammed in 2017, Neom is Saudi Arabia's flagship business and tourism development on the Red Sea coast. It is a central project in the 2030 Vision outlining the kingdom's plans to diversify the economy.

What is NEOM in Saudi Arabia? ›

Neom (styled NEOM; Arabic: نيوم Neom, Hejazi pronunciation: [nɪˈjo̞ːm]) is a city being built in Tabuk Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and function as a tourist destination.

How long will NEOM take to build? ›

While the initial plan was to complete NEOM by 2030 with an allotted $500 billion, some reports claim that the city may not be completed until 2050, which will likely increase costs significantly.

What makes NEOM unique? ›

No roads, cars or emissions, it will run on 100% renewable energy and 95% of land will be preserved for nature. People's health and wellbeing will be prioritized over transportation and infrastructure, unlike traditional cities. Only 200 meters wide, but 170 kilometers long and 500 meters above sea level.

What does Neom logo mean? ›

It is a logo designed as a pentagram; each side has a symbolic drawing related to the vision of NEOM (Al-Fifi, 2017). It is procedurally defined as an image symbolizing five different aspects of life that are aimed to be developed by the project; each aspect has its own formal and denotative significance.

Is Neom city being built? ›

NEOM is expected to have capacity for 450,000 people by 2026 and 1.5-2 million people by 2030, eventually housing nine million by 2045, the crown prince said. The interim goal would make the city bigger than Abu Dhabi, he said.

Who is in charge of NEOM? ›

Nadhmi Al-Nasr

Since July 2018, Al-Nasr has been at the helm of NEOM – a cornerstone of Saudi's Vision 2030 strategy. As the Chief Executive Officer of NEOM, Al-Nasr is responsible for leading and delivering the company's bold and ambitious program of work.

Who is investing in NEOM? ›

NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, as well as local and international investors.

Is NEOM cruelty free? ›

All of our products are cruelty-free, suitable for vegetarians and are manufactured in the UK. We're on a journey to become zero waste by 2025 meaning all our packaging will either be refillable, reusable, recycled or recyclable.

How much does NEOM cost? ›

The structure is expected to cost a whopping $1 trillion upon completion, and is projected to house five million people who will be able to travel end-to-end within a 20-minute stretch.

How does NEOM work? ›

1 Simply add tap water to the water line and add 5 -10 drops of oil into the Pod, and switch it on to instantly release a heatless, fine mist of scented vapour into the air. At the touch of a button, you can use it to help you relax, sleep better, feel less stressed, more energized or get a mood lift.

What will NEOM look like? ›

Neom looks as futuristic and science-fictiony as one could imagine: the 26,500-kilometre square site will stretch 460km along the coast of the Red Sea in the Tabuk Province of Saudi Arabia.

How many people can live in The Line Neom? ›

One such example is a development known as NEOM, to be built in Saudi Arabia. A key part of the plan is “The Line”, a A$725 billion futuristic city designed to house 9 million residents.

Can we visit Neom? ›

NEOM is one of the pristine tourist destinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is the future of pure eco-tourism and the future of clean energy in the Kingdom. In this trip, we will take you to the world of charming nature and pristine lands to enjoy the spectacular view.

Can you buy shares in Neom? ›

NEOM Stock - Frequently Asked Questions

Shares of NEOM stock can be purchased through any online brokerage account. Popular online brokerages with access to the U.S. stock market include WeBull, Vanguard Brokerage Services, TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, Robinhood, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab.

What are the five principles that NEOM logo represents? ›

The symbol has five distinct sections, each corresponding to one of our core pillars: technology, nature, community, sustainability and livability.

Why is NEOM named NEOM? ›

NEOM aims to be the future of livability as its foundation, unprecedented in scope. The name "NEOM" is derived from two words. The first three letters from the Ancient Greek prefix neo-meaning "new". The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Mostaqbal, an arabic word meaning "future".

What industry is NEOM? ›

Health, Well-being and Biotechnology: NEOM aims to establish an integrated system for the health, well-being, and biotechnologies sector that transcends the traditional boundaries of health care, based on a unique and direct system centered entirely on the individual.

How long will it take to build The Line in Saudi Arabia? ›

Prince Mohammed says that phase one of the project, lasting until 2030, would cost 1.2 trillion Saudi riyals (about £265 billion) – quite a large portion of his US$620 billion (£516 billion) sovereign wealth fund. Ultimately, the Line could take 50 years to complete.

How big will NEOM city be? ›

Highlights of the Neom project

Envisioned by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, it is expected to spread across an area of 26,500 km² and have over 9 million residents. The city will be powered by renewable energy sources and feature advanced technology and infrastructure.

What is the Speciality of the futuristic eco city NEOM? ›

The city will preserve 95 per cent of the site's natural environment, highlighting mankind's relationship with the natural world. All energy in NEOM will be 100 per cent renewable -- from solar, wind and hydrogen-based electricity generation -- ensuring a zero-emissions, carbon-positive ecosystem.

How many companies work on the NEOM project? ›

Two joint venture groups will undertake the project, which is separated by lower and upper geographies, with the first contract awarded to FCC Construction SA/China State Construction Engineering Corporation/Shibh Al-Jazira Contracting Company Joint Venture (FCC/CSCEC/SAJCO JV), and the second to Samsung C&T ...

Is NEOM for real? ›

NEOM is a planned 16-borough city on the Red Sea coast in the northwestern Saudi province of Tabuk. Saudi Arabia has named it after the words New Future in an attempt to create something that has never been done before.

What does $500 billion build in the Saudi desert? ›

Starting with a budget of $500 billion, MBS bills Neom as a showpiece that will transform Saudi Arabia's economy and serve as a testbed for technologies that could revolutionize daily life.

Why is it called NEOM? ›

NEOM aims to be the future of livability as its foundation, unprecedented in scope. The name "NEOM" is derived from two words. The first three letters from the Ancient Greek prefix neo-meaning "new". The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Mostaqbal, an arabic word meaning "future".

Can we visit NEOM? ›

NEOM is one of the pristine tourist destinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is the future of pure eco-tourism and the future of clean energy in the Kingdom. In this trip, we will take you to the world of charming nature and pristine lands to enjoy the spectacular view.

What will NEOM look like? ›

Neom looks as futuristic and science-fictiony as one could imagine: the 26,500-kilometre square site will stretch 460km along the coast of the Red Sea in the Tabuk Province of Saudi Arabia.

Who is the main contractor in NEOM? ›

Saudi Arabia's NEOM Green Hydrogen Company has selected India's Larsen & Toubro as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for solar and wind plants to power the planned $5bn green hydrogen-based ammonia plant at the NEOM development.

Who is investing in NEOM? ›

NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, as well as local and international investors.

Why do you want to join NEOM? ›

Because of its sweeping scope, NEOM offers career opportunities in a wide variety of industries, with development programs that range from internships to coaching for senior staff, enabling our diverse workforce to learn and thrive.

How long is the Neom line? ›

The plan for The Line was announced on January 10, 2021, by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a presentation that was broadcast on state television. Upon completion, The Line will be 170 kilometres (110 mi) across, will preserve 95% of the nature within Neom, and is expected to have nine million residents.

How much will The Line cost Neom? ›

One such example is a development known as NEOM, to be built in Saudi Arabia. A key part of the plan is “The Line”, a A$725 billion futuristic city designed to house 9 million residents. It comprises a mirrored, wall-like structure 200 metres wide and 500 metres tall.

Where is Neom city located? ›

The NEOM project is located in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in the northwest of the Kingdom, extended along with Aqaba Gulf and 468 km of coastline with beaches and coral reefs, as well as mountains up to 2,500 m high, with a total area of around 26,500 sq. km.

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