Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his intention to build a completely new city, called NEOM, on the northern coast of the country.It is the latest in a series of projects designed to revitalize the kingdom in a period of falling resources.
According to the prince, the city will operate independently of the “existing governmental framework”.
The project will be supported by over $ 500 billion in funds from the Saudi government, the country’s sovereign fund, and local and international investors.
The city will focus on diversifying the economic focus, not on oil. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter in the world, but the collapse in oil prices has made it increasingly difficult for the state to pay oil workers.
The city will be built on 26,500 square kilometers near the Red Sea, CNN Money writes.
The first part of the city could be ready in 2025.
There will be a lot of emphasis on technology, there will be many drones, and the high-speed wireless internet will be free.
“All services in the city will be fully automated, aiming to turn NEOM into the most efficient destination in the world , “ the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund announced.
In October 2017, Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the project called NEOM at a conference on the Riyadh Future Investment Initiative. It will be funded by Saudi government and private investors, according to Reuters.
Currently, the country starts to contract construction companies to build five palaces. Located on the Red Sea coast, the palaces will be for the king, prince and other royal families.The buildings will have a traditional Moroccan-style architecture, Islamic models and colored ceramic tiles. The palace complex will include a marina, helicopter tracks and a golf course.
The city will have an area of 10,230 square kilometers. The main objective of this project is to reduce Saudi Arabia‘s dependence on oil exports, which could extend the country’s economy beyond oil, declared Salman at the October conference. The city will be concentrated on a variety of industries such as energy and water, biotechnology, food, entertainment, and more.
The leader of the project is Klaus Kleinfeld, former CEO of Siemens AG and Alcoa Inc. Officials hope that by selling 5% of Saudi Aramco’s oil giant will raise $ 300 billion for NEOM construction.
NEOM could be one of the largest cities that could operate without fossil fuels. In the US, one of the largest cities running 100% renewable energy is Burlington, Vermont, which is not approaching NEOM’s planned size. Cities in Iceland and Norway also claim to be nearing the realization of completely renewable electricity networks, with the help of natural resources such as hydroelectric power and geothermal heat.
NEOM will operate on 100% renewable energy. This project could turn NEOM into one of the world’s largest fossil-fuel cities. In the US, the largest city of its kind is Burlington, Vermont, which operates 100% on renewable energy. Also, cities in Iceland and Norway claim that they are very well versed in working the same way.
NEOM will be 33 times larger than New York, Yahoo Finance reports.
Saudi Arabia expects to complete the first NEOM section by 2025.
“This place is not for ordinary people or for normal companies, it will be a place for the world’s dreamers,” said bin Salman.“Strong political force and the desire of a nation. All the success factors are there to create something great in Saudi Arabia.
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