Saudi Arabia is joining Dubai (UAE) in the city-building business. The country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced ambitious plans for the construction of a futuristic megacity in the northwestern region of the city which has been dubbed the ‘destination of the future’.
The $500 billion project, dubbed NEOM, is a business and industrial zone, spanning just over 26,500 km2 of desert – making it 33 times bigger than the city of New York. It will spread across the border region of Egypt and Jordan, and also feature the first ever bridge (King Salman Bridge) linking the continent of Asia and Africa.
NEOM will be powered comletely by renewable energy from solar and wind panels, and transportation will run on 100-percent green energy. It is also set to be the world’s first independent economic zone, operating with its own laws, taxes, and regulations.
The proposed mega city project is part of the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030 plan for social and economic reforms, and will be funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund as well as local and international investors.
Construction work is already set to begin, with the first phase planned for completion by 2025.