Said to be the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is now investing $500 billion in a futuristic metropolis called “NEOM,” to mainly distance itself from its heavy reliance on oil and reduce the country’s reliance on hydrocarbons. Neom is said to lead the global stage in creating a new model for sustainable living. Its name has a larger meaning according to Al Arabiya with the first three letters “NEO” derived from a Latin word that signifies “new” the fourth character “M” stands for “Mostaqbal,” which in Arabic means “future.”
NEOM is a unique, highly central geographic location on the Red Sea coast in the northwest province of Tabuk. It complies with Saudi Vision 2030, which is a strategic framework aimed at reducing Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil, diversifying its economy, and developing public-sector areas such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism. According to Time Out Jeddah, the Red Sea already carries 10 percent of the world’s trade, and project leaders believe that NEOM is only a four-hour flight away from 40 percent of the world. This not only makes it very accessible to tourists, but it also provides direct access to both international and Saudi markets for company owners and investors. From the Red Sea coast to the desert, NEOM will foster the construction of towers that will house a mix of residential, retail, and office space. It will also include smart towns and cities, ports, a network of airports (including one of the world’s largest international airports), industrial districts, research centers, sports and entertainment facilities.