Saudi Arabia just announced plans for a futuristic megacity that will span 10,000 square miles and three countries near the Red Sea. NEOM will be an independent economic zone owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia – and the nation is calling out to innovators, scientists, and dreamers to form an aspirational society to pioneer next-gen technologies. The future of food, energy, and biotechnology, to name a few, will be explored in this global community to be backed by over $500 billion.
NEOM will be the world’s first independent economic zone – supported by Saudi Arabia’s investment, but the country said it will be developed independently of their current governmental framework. They want to transform NEOM into a global hub to pursue innovation in nine investment sectors: advanced manufacturing, food, biotech, mobility, media, technological and digital sciences, entertainment, energy and water, and livability.
Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said, “Future technologies form the cornerstone for NEOM’s development: disruptive solutions for transportation from automated driving to passenger drones, new ways of growing and processing food, healthcare centered around the patient for their holistic well-being, wireless high-speed Internet as a free good called digital air, free world-class continuous online education, full-scale e-governance putting city services at your fingertips, building codes that make net-zero carbon houses the standard, a city layout that encourages walking and bicycling, and all solely powered by renewable energy.”
NEOM will be located in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, in a region with mountains, beaches, and coral reefs. As Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify away from oil, solar and wind energy will help power NEOM.
Saudi Arabia has already started communicating with potential partners and investors, and the frequently asked questions document for NEOM said its first phase will be finished in 2025.
Images via NEOM