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Updated February 2023
In an attempt to do something that’s never been done before, coming at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions, the planned megacity of NEOM in Saudi Arabia will be a new model for sustainable living, working and prospering.
Saudi Arabia already has a slew of several ambitious projects lined up like the Amaala Project and the Red Sea project, and the proposed smart city of NEOM is all set to open its doors in June this year.
What is NEOM and what to expect here?
Neom is a Saudi city being built in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city innovations, where world-class technology is fueled with data and intelligence to create a sustainable living space that will also function as a tourist destination. The site is north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt across the Gulf of Aqaba, and south of Jordan.
The new video released by NEOM authorities on Youtube answers the very question “What is NEOM”. Take a look.
NEOM will introduce a new model for urban sustainability powered by 100% renewable energy. With world-class treatment and inclusive care, the city will harness innovative technology, research and education to become a global benchmark in the field. It adopts environmental responsibility principles that promote sustainable and regenerative development practices.
Here are some notable salient features of the project:
- 4-hour flight away from 40% of the globe
- 26,500km² in Saudi Arabia
- Nature is always a short walk away
- 10°C cooler than the rest of the GCC
- 20 mj/m² perennial solar resources
- 100 % renewable energy
Trojena will offer year-round outdoor skiing and adventure sports to be completed in 2026. The destination will house six distinctive development districts centred around tailored experiences that blend real with virtual architectural and engineering innovations to create a destination like no other on earth.
Upon completion, the development will also contain a broad range of homes, including apartments, chalets and mansions, plus hotels ranging from the ultra-luxury and experiential to wellness and family resorts. In addition, there will be a wide range of retail, leisure and dining options. Activities including year-round skiing, water sports, hiking and mountain biking will sit side by side with an interactive nature reserve.
The year-round activities have been planned as follows:
Wellness season (Sep-Nov)
- Wellness summit
- Alternative medicine
- Discovery week
- Yoga retreat
- Artist residency
- Entertainment residency
Winter season (Dec-Mar)
- Winter fashion week
- Ice skating
- Music festival
- Film festival
Adventure season (Mar-May)
- High-altitude training
- Adventure triathlon
- Yoga retreat
- Mountain biking
Lake season (May-Sep)
- Music festival
- Food festival
- Art fair
- Cultural week
- Light show
- Yoga retreat
Oxagon is NEOM’s economic and industrial engine, driving innovation in industry and technology whilst offering exceptional livability. The city is designed to attract global talent and breathe new life into manufacturing. With a next-gen automated & integrated port and supply chain fostering an ecosystem for research and innovation, the city will act as a catalyst for advanced transformational industries and a global gateway for world trade.
Adding to its uniqueness, the city also boasts the following features:
- World’s largest floating structure
- High-speed rail to THE LINE and NEOM airport
- The largest cruise terminal in the Red Sea
- 13% of global trade passes through via the Suez Canal
- 5 min walk to the beach and nature spots
- 100% clean energy
- Port with 3.5m TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) capacity
The Line project
The Line is a never-before-seen approach to urbanization – a 170km-long linear urban development of multiple, hyper-connected communities, with walkable neighbourhoods integrated with public parks and the natural landscape. It is a model of urban design and livability in harmony with nature for the 21st century and beyond.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman announced the plans for The Line development at NEOM. According to his statement, “The Line” will overcome humanity’s challenges in the present urban life and shed light on innovative alternative ways of living.
🔊 Built with the most advanced engineering and design imaginable, THE LINE is a landmark city stretching 170 km. A revolution in urban living.
A city that delivers new wonders for the world.#TheLINE #NEOM pic.twitter.com/urmRtJ5XNE
— NEOM (@NEOM) July 25, 2022
To develop this revolutionary concept for the city of the future, The Line will be created by a team of architects and engineers renowned worldwide, led by NEOM. The designs of the project will embody how urban communities will be in the future where the abandonment of traditional carbon-intensive infrastructures will make the environment free from roads, cars and emissions.
The city is proposed to create 380,000 new jobs with the following features and plans:
- The Line will have an outer mirror facade, “the Mirror Line” that will provide the structure with a unique character and will integrate even its small footprint with nature. At the same time, its interior will be built to create “extraordinary experiences and magical moments”.
- The Line is set to house 9 million people within a city that occupies only 34 square kilometres, so infrastructure effects will be minimal, enabling the city to utilize its resources more efficiently than ever.
- Powered by 100% renewable energy, the principles of environmental responsibility will be enshrined in business regulations to promote sustainable and regenerative development practices.
- By abandoning traditional carbon-intensive infrastructures, such as cars and streets, “The Line” city will be made carbon neutral or free from carbon emissions.
- It will ensure a comfortable climate throughout the year so that residents can enjoy the surrounding nature and access all amenities within 5 minutes.
- The two buildings of “the Mirror Line” will be connected via walkways, with a high-speed train running underneath them that will help people residing within the city to travel between the two maximum points within 20 minutes.
- The car-free environment of “the Line” and its 100% sustainable transportation system, free from pollution and waiting times, acts as a breather for its residents allowing them to enjoy extra leisure time.
- With the main focus being on the well-being of human beings, transportation and infrastructure in “The Line” will also be designed to serve people and not the other way around.
- The city’s pollution-free life will form a high-density conglomerate, creating a human experience that is full of new business opportunities.
- Communities will live in harmony with nature, where open space, parks, gardens, the natural environment and sustainable food production are mixed seamlessly.
- All businesses and communities in the city are hyper-connected through a digital framework incorporating Artificial Intelligence and robotics that continuously learn and grow – over 90% of the data in NEOM will be analyzed to provide a predictive system with ever-improving services to residents and businesses.
- The communities will be self-sufficient and reflect the personality of their residents, the region and the industries within them.
- The Line will layer city functions vertically, giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions to access them a concept referred to as Zero Gravity Urbanism.
Sindalah is the first luxury island destination in NEOM and one of the most important projects supporting Saudi Arabia’s national tourism strategy. Extending over an area of approximately 840,000 square meters, Sindalah is one of a group of islands that will be developed in NEOM, each according to its unique vision and design.
A main gateway to the Red Sea offering bespoke nautical experiences, Sindalah is expected to start welcoming guests to enjoy its exquisite facilities and exclusive offerings in early 2024. It is anticipated that the development will create 3,500 jobs for the tourism sector and hospitality and leisure services.
Adding to NEOM’s growing tourism offerings, Sindalah will reshape the luxury international yachting calendar offering a new season for visitors and guests to enjoy. It will feature a prestigious 86-berth marina, an ideal destination for accommodating luxury vessels, while offshore buoys will house superyachts. Providing one-of-a-kind nautical experiences, Sindalah will offer 413 ultra-premium hotel rooms, in addition to 333 top-end serviced apartments. A luxe beach club, glamorous yacht club, and 38 unique culinary offerings will provide an incomparable experience in the Red Sea.
With its incredible array of amenities, state-of-the-art marine facilities, strategic location and exceptional natural landscapes, Sindalah is expected to become established as one of the most alluring islands in the Red Sea.
.@NEOM's next-level innovation, inspired by the pristine waters of the Red Sea. Sindalah’s surroundings are at its heart. Nature and technology work together here to create an unforgettable experience.#Sindalah #NEOM pic.twitter.com/BUFlJlS6bK
— SINDALAH (@NEOMSindalah) December 5, 2022
NEOM Bay Airport
Neom Bay Airport is one of the four-airport networks that is projected in the city, one of which is to be international. The commercial airport is 48 km away from the nearest airport, Sharm El Sheikh International Airport. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer of NEOM, said “NEOM Bay Airport is a key enabler of NEOM’s development, facilitating efficient access to NEOM for residents and business partners and drastically improving the ease with which NEOM can connect with people from all over the world”.
NEOM green hydrogen plant
NEOM is expected to become one of the world’s leading centres for green hydrogen as it is one of the few places on Earth where green hydrogen can be made competitively in very large quantities. The unique combination of wind and sun in NEOM provides the ideal power source to generate clean energy, which in turn can be used to produce green hydrogen to meet the needs of energy-importing regions like Japan and Europe.
NEOM aims to introduce a new model for urban sustainability powered by 100% renewable energy and a smart network that distributes high-standard water to all of NEOM while exporting clean industrial resources & sustainable solutions to the world.
NEOM construction progress
Almost 20% of the infrastructure works at NEOM have already been completed.
By 2026, NEOM is expected to have the capacity to house around 450,000 people. By 2030, this capacity is expected to grow to 1.5 to 2 million.
NEOM latest news
Neom has kickstarted its “Discover NEOM” tour, with the first event to promote investment opportunities for the project being held in Jeddah. The tour will continue in several cities in and around the Kingdom, highlighting the progress made across NEOM regions like The Line, Trojena, Oxagon, and Sindalah Island.
The talks and discussions held during the event shed light upon how the project is redefining circular economy, accelerating human progress, driving ground-breaking innovation, creating jobs, attracting the best talent from the Kingdom, and augmenting its non-oil GDP.
According to NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “Through this tour and our insightful meetings with some of the Kingdom’s top companies and investors, we reaffirm our commitment to sharing NEOM’s unique vision and strategic objectives to achieve exceptional livability and thriving businesses, redefine sustainability, and develop key economic sectors, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”
NEOM has also organised international tours and roadshows, including in Germany, France, USA, and UK.