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NEOM: World’s Biggest Billion Dollar Smart City Plan

Published on 08 Aug,2022

Saudi Arabia is building a futuristic megacity called Neom in the middle of the Red Sea Desert. Neom is expected to cost around $500 billion to build, and is about thirty-three times larger than New York. The New Neom Project would be decades-long, turning an area largely undeveloped in the kingdom, larger than the whole of Israel, into one of the largest cities in the world.

As part of a $500 billion development project, Saudi Arabia is planning the world’s largest high-rise building in a relatively sparsely populated area of the country. Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has revealed plans for a 100-mile belt of zero-energy, walkable communities housing one million.

The NEOM project is a brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key component in the kingdom’s vision 2030, aiming to diversify their country’s economy and take a lead role in global development. The eight-sided floating port city is the core of NEOM, and is a major component in the Crown Prince’s vision for the transformation of a region that is close to the Suez Canal. While details are currently unclear, the official news report states the eight-sided floating port city will be located directly on the rim of Neom, the recently established region located to the north-west of the Kingdom. The 100-mile-long (170-kilometer) megacity will be made up of interconnected communities – what he calls the city modules – and connect Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast to its northwest.

Neom will use cloud-seeding technology to provide rainfall in the desert cities, feature artificial moons, and employ flying taxis for travel within the city. The town will also have artificial clouds that are going to rain. Although there is scarcity of water in Saudi Arabia, it does not rain there, but there will not be any of that in the city, because through the use of Cloud Seeds, clouds will form in this city, which will actually rain. And the artificial moon will light up the NEOM with its moonlight rays each night.

Saudi leaders are hoping NEOM will not only draw lessons from other cities, as KAEC (King Abdullah Economic City), another city in construction in Saudi Arabia has, but also reimagine a whole new future of what the city might look like in the 21st century. Building on the foundations laid by throngs in Mecca, KAEC and the plethora of other emerging cities — especially a newly emerging one called NEOM — are increasingly seeing the potential formula for sweeping, dynamic transformations that would take the country not just ahead, but ahead of the rest of the world.

NEOM is a technically-forward megacity that is being built entirely on sand on the shores of Red Sea, and is considered as Mohammed bin Salmans dream project. The details about his latest investment project are still under the scanner, but NEOM is confirmed to be built in phases according to demand. Announced at The Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, NEOM (short for New Future) will work independently of existing government schemes, said to be funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, as well as local and international investors, according to the announcement.

NEOM Smart City was named as Saudi Arabia’s most appealing megaproject to prospective investors and homebuyers, beating the Red Sea project and the Diriyah Gateway, according to a Knight Frank poll. The kingdom’s first weekly commercial round-trip flight to Dubai from the Saudi smart city NEOM will be launched by Saudia Airlines in June 2022, aiming to show off the giga-project for investors and global curious travelers. NEOM is the most ambitious vision of a new city, an insanely new urbanist project that would add yet another massive new urban investment on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, one that would dwarf all others, stretch across three countries, and cost $500 billion – $2 trillion, a full three years of the nation’s entire GDP. Neom is Prince Mohammed’s vision for turning the rural part of Saudi Arabia into a semi-autonomous, hi-tech, high-review city-life. Asked whether Neom would rival other regional business centers like Dubai, Prince Mohammed said that the result will be more of a mutual benefit rather than a zero-sum. For instance, plans for the $500-billion business city in Neom, which is located on a crossroads between the Sinai Peninsula, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, will attract foreign investment, and it may even be a source of tourist income. Plans for a city in Noem included a bridge across the Red Sea, connecting the proposed new city with Egypt and the rest of Africa. Basically, NEOMs goal is to define a new future for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, designing an advanced city that would span over 10,000 square miles of land in the Red Sea coast of Tabuk Province, Saudi Arabia.

Neom’s vision is to stand on the front lines in nine critical economic sectors, including energy and water, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and food. A portmanteau of Greek for new (neo) and the Arabic word for future (mostaqbal), Neom has been designed to generate jobs across a diverse array of growing industries, including new and renewable energy, mobility, biotech, technology and digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media, and entertainment. The social transformation undertaken by the ruling elite has been functional to shaping a new model of living that is consistent with an innovative vision for urban citizens as imagined by the MBS, and is illustrated in the case of NEOM, the smart city megaproject announced at the October 2017 conference on Future Investment Initiative.

When the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), came to power, there was not one Saudi bank that had the balance sheets or expertise needed to bring such projects into reality, but after Samba and SABAN’s merger, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) is one of 150 largest banks in the world.

Given the unpredictable nature of the oil markets, the recent frictions between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the growing implications of environmental policies, and the challenges facing Saudi Arabia’s economy over the next few decades, a well-diversified, stable bank is an entirely attractive prospect.

We at CredAble hope that MBS succeeds in his dream of transforming the landscape of the north-western part of Saudi-Arabia through this $ 500 Billion project, just like we are transforming the working capital landscape of the world through our innovative solutions.

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