Saudi Arabia to start design work on Neom in 2019

25 October 2018
Saudi Arabia envisages Neom as an independent economic zone with its own laws, taxes and regulations

The $500bn Neom project is expected to enter the design phase by June 2019, its CEO Nadhmi al-Nasr said on 25 October, the final day of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.

“We expect to finalise the [list of] 16 sectors to be featured [in Neom City] by May or June 2019, and then we will proceed to the design and planning phase,” Al-Nasr said, adding that construction will quickly follow once the design phase is completed.

The executive also said they are conducting discussions with three global information technology companies to ensure that the planned development will utilise the latest IT infrastructure at the earliest possible time.

“This time next year, I would like to conduct this presentation on Neom, in Neom,” the executive said, adding “there will be no limit to the opportunities in which the private sector can participate in developing the project.”

Prior to his appointment as CEO in August, Al-Nasr was a member of Neom’s founding board and has worked on the strategy and development of Neom Bay, which is one of the initial stages of Neom’s development.

Neom will be developed on 26,500 square kilometres of land along 468km of coastline along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. It will cross into Jordan and Egypt as well. The plans also include the King Salman Bridge, planned to connect Saudi Arabia and Egypt – Riyadh and Cairo agreed in 2016 to develop a causeway that will link the two countries across the Red Sea.

A new airport catering to Neom City is also planned. It will be located near Saudi Arabia’s northern Tabuk region and approximately 10km from Sharma and 75km from Duba.

Neom is envisaged as an innovation hub that will attract future investors and residents by virtue of having an independent economic zone with its own laws, taxes and regulations.

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