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All you need to know about NEOM, Saudi's 'futuristic desert city'

NEOM is envisioned as a futuristic, technologically advanced city and economic zone aimed at diversifying Saudi Arabia's economy away from oil dependence. It is widely regarded as the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 12:58 IST
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 12:58 IST

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With the BBC reporting yesterday that Saudi authorities authorised the use of deadly force to clear land for NEOM - a futuristic desert city being constructed with the involvement of numerous Western companies, we list some facts you should know about the project.

Colonel Rabih Alenezi, a former Saudi intelligence officer, told the publication that he received orders to evict villagers in the Tabuk region to pave the way for The Line, a component of the NEOM project. One villager, Abdul Rahim al-Huwaiti, was fatally shot while protesting the eviction, the publication reported.

Here are some key facts about NEOM, Saudi Arabia's 'futuristic' desert city project:

  • NEOM is situated in the north-western region of Saudi Arabia, close to the borders with Jordan and Egypt, along the Red Sea coast.

  • NEOM is envisioned as a futuristic, technologically advanced city and economic zone aimed at diversifying Saudi Arabia's economy away from oil dependence. It is widely regarded as the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

  • It is one of the largest and most ambitious development projects globally, covering an area of approximately 26,500 square kilometers (10,230 square miles).

  • The project is backed by significant financial investment, with Saudi Arabia committing over $500 billion to its development, with money being sourced from the country's sovereign wealth fund, the 'Public Investment Fund'.

  • Within NEOM, 'The Line' is a flagship project, designed as a linear city spanning 170 kilometers (106 miles) in length, 200m wide, and intended to be entirely car-free.

  • NEOM is a key component of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 strategy, which seeks to reduce the country's reliance on oil revenues by developing new sectors such as technology, tourism, and entertainment.

  • The project is strategically located at the crossroads of three continents, with the potential to become a global hub for trade and innovation.

  • NEOM has attracted partnerships and investments from various international companies and organisations, including several Western MNCs.

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Published 10 May 2024, 12:58 IST

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