The construction sector seems to be a highly lucrative field of industry in Saudi Arabia as it is currently carrying out 5,000 capital projects worth over $1.6 trillion in the pre-execution stage. One of these grand projects called Neom Project became the centerpiece of the country’s Vision 2030. As much as $500 billion was invested to undertake the Neom project, established in the north-western part of Saudi and includes territories from Egypt and Jordan, comprising a total area of 26,500 square kilometers.
In a nutshell, Neom Project was initiated when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman proposed his vision in 2017 for a futuristic city founded on 16 economic sectors encompassing energy, water, mobility, biotech, food, manufacturing, media, technology and digital, and culture, among others. The meaning of Neom is with respect to the motivation behind the project itself. Neo-Mustaqbal means a new future, which illustrates fundamental principles this project is built upon renewable energy, community, diversity, technology, and modern architecture.
It is understandable if one sees or thinks Neom as the next Dubai, only far more sophisticated with superior specialties. Big obsession towards the future of human civilization with contemporary idyllic lifestyle takes a big role in realizing this project. Perhaps, many have been dreaming to experience the taste of modern and advanced urban living, favorable business environment, technology-based services in many aspects of life, world-standard social norms in culture, arts, and education, as well as the rich quality of life. Needless to say, those advantages are exactly what Neom claims to offer.
There has been significant progress witnessed this year on Neom project. The first phase of this gigaproject construction has been completed and will be followed by the second phase planned to finish by the end of 2019. It cost the government as much as $8 billion to complete the first phase. The establishment of Neom Bay Airport at Sharma which will become a hub for flights to and from Neom was part of the first phase. The airport has major importance as it creates a global logistics platform for everyone around the world, and it is one of the most modern airports in the Middle East region that is located on the borders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. Economic concept, funding and the roadmap of the development were also included in the first phase, while the second phase will cover detailed plans for Neom’s 16 economic sectors and regions.
Neom provides direct access between Saudi Arabia and global markets, given the fact that nearly a tenth of the world’s trade flows through NEOM strategic location. This strategic location could potentially become a global hub connecting Asia, Erope, and Africa, and also benefits these regions in terms of sharing knowledge, technology, and research.
There will be new opportunities lie ahead for other business sectors previously seemed to be non-existent in the country. Investors could have more options within the environment that adopts favorable business laws and system conducive to growth in the soon-to-be-realized Neom city. Neom will apply a regulatory framework that works well for investors through their inclusion in the drafting process of regulation and legislation.