Construction starting on Saudi Arabia’s NEOM in 2020

Saudi Arabia is starting construction on NEOM, its city of the future, in 2020. The giga-project has had an investment of $500 billion from the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

According to NEOM CEO Nadhmi al-Nasr, construction will begin this year (via The Arab Weekly). NEOM, which means ‘new future’, was announced in 2017.

Saudi officials describe NEOM as ‘the world’s most ambitious project’. It will be built in the Tabuk region of northwestern Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea.

The futuristic mega-city is billed as ‘the land of the future’. It will be 33 times the size of New York City and nearly the size of Belgium. More than 1 million people will work and reside at NEOM.

NEOM is ‘the land of the future’ in Saudi Arabia

Overlooking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, NEOM occupies an area of 26,500 square kilometres, along with a 468-kilometre waterfront.

The project is expected to be a cross between Silicon Valley, Dubai and the Seychelles. It will include towns, ports, and research centres, as well as entertainment and tourist destinations.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz said NEOM “will drive the future of human civilisation, energy and water, mobility, biotech, food, technological and digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media and entertainment”.

However, $500 billion will not be enough to complete NEOM, and Saudi officials are looking for the rest of the funding through foreign investment.

1 million people will work and reside at NEOM

Saudi Arabia is creating a host of attractions and giga-projects as part of Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy in order to reduce the country’s reliance on oil.

The giga-projects, which currently include Amaala, NEOM, the Red Sea Project and Qiddiya, are designed to stimulate the economy as integrated economic ecosystems.

Earlier this month, the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) released an update on Qiddiya’s construction in Saudi Arabia.

QIC awarded the first construction contract of 2020 to Abdul Ali Al Ajmi Company.