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Neom City Logo
Neom City Logo
Location of Neom
Neom is located in Saudi Arabia
Neom in Saudi Arabia
Coordinates: 28°17′17″N 34°50′42″E / 28.28806°N 34.84500°E / 28.28806; 34.84500Coordinates: 28°17′17″N 34°50′42″E / 28.28806°N 34.84500°E / 28.28806; 34.84500
Country Saudi Arabia
Announced24 October 2017; 2 years ago (2017-10-24)
Founded by Muhammad bin Salman
SeatHouse of Saud
 • DirectorNadhmi Al-Nasr[1]
 • Total26,500 km2 (10,200 sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+03 (Arabian Standard Time)
WebsiteOfficial website

Neom (styled NEOM; Arabic: نيومNiyōm) is a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and also function as a tourist destination. The site is near the Red Sea and the borders that Saudi Arabia shares with Egypt and Jordan (However, Saudi Arabia has no border with Egypt).[2] It will cover a total area of 26,500 km2 (10,200 sq mi) and will extend 460 km along the coast of the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia aims to complete the first section of NEOM by 2025. The project has an estimated cost of $500 billion. Saudi Arabia aims to raise $100 billion through an IPO of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco.[3] This IPO took place in late 2019, and Saudi Aramco's valuation topped $2Tn.[4] On January 29, 2019, Saudi Arabia has announced setting up a closed joint-stock company named NEOM with $500 billion.[5] The aim of this company that is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund, is to develop the economic zone of Neom.[6] The project is planned to be totally powered by renewable energy sources.[7] Nadhmi Al-Nasr is the CEO of NEOM Joint-stock company.[8]

Inauguration of the project[edit]

The city was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24, 2017.[9] He said it will operate independently from the “existing governmental framework” with its own tax and labor laws and an "autonomous judicial system."[10]

The initiative emerged from Saudi Vision 2030, a plan that seeks to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors.[11] The German Klaus Kleinfeld, former chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc., and former president and CEO of Siemens AG, will direct the development of the city. Plans call for robots to perform functions such as security, logistics, home delivery, and caregiving[12] and for the city to be powered solely with wind and solar power.[10] Because the city will be designed and constructed from scratch, other innovations in infrastructure and mobility have been suggested. Planning and construction will be initiated with $500 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and international investors.[13] The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion by 2025.[14]


The name "Neom" was constructed from two words. The first three letters form the Ancient Greek prefix nέο neo- meaning “new”. The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Mostaqbal (Arabic: مستقبل‎), the Arabic word for “future.”[15]


The NEOM project[16] is located in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in the northwest of the Kingdom, extended along with Aqaba Gulf and 468 km of coastline with beaches and coral reefs, as well as mountains up to 2,500 m high, with a total area of around 26,500 sq. km.[17]


Aerial view in 2012 of the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Some of the illustrations for the Neom project were taken from the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, leaving commentators to note: "using an actual shot of Singapore to depict an upcoming construction project in Saudi Arabia is an odd choice."[18][19]


Klaus Kleinfeld was announced as the inaugural director for the Neom project upon its launch by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman on 24 October 2017.[20] In 2018, Kleinfeld signed Gladstone Place Partners LLC for "Communications Services" for the Neom project, for a fee of USD $199,500 plus expenses of USD $45,000.[21][22]

On 3 July 2018, Kleinfeld was announced as the new advisor to Muhammad bin Salman from 1 August 2018 onwards. Nadhmi Al-Nasr would succeed him as the new Director of Neom from 1 August 2018.[20]

Neom Bay[edit]

The development works of the project’s first phase Neom Bay is planned to start on the first quarter of 2019 and expected to be completed by 2020[23]. The developments include constructing of the current airport at Sharma which will operate regular commercial flights between Riyadh and Neom[24]. The plan of Neom Bay's developments also involves building of the first residential area in Neom as a part of the phase1[25].

NEOM Bay Airport[edit]

In June 2019, it was announced that the NEOM Bay Airport would start to receive commercial flights after the first phase of the airport was completed with runway's length of 3,757 meters.[26][27][28] The airport that is located at Neom Bay was registered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the code 'NUM'.[27]


In late 2018, after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman admitted that “No one will invest [in the project] for years.”[29] Advisers to Neom, including Daniel L. Doctoroff[30] and architect Norman Foster, were reported to have distanced themselves from the project and the "toxic" Saudi Crown Prince.[31] Also the scope of the projects based on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vision incorporates some technologies that don’t even exist yet like flying cars, cloud seeding, robot maids, dinosaur robots and giant artificial moon.[32] It is estimated that 20,000 people will be forced to relocate to accommodate the planned city.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PROFILE: Who is Nadhmi al-Nasri, the new CEO of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM?,
  2. ^ "نيوم".. تفاصيل أضخم مشروع سعودي ممتد بين 3 دول سكاي نيوز عربية , نشر في 24 أكتوبر 2017 ودخل في 24 أكتوبر 2017.
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia is building a $500 billion mega-city that's 33 times the size of New York City". Business Insider. February 22, 2018.
  4. ^ London, Summer Said in Cairo, Julie Steinberg and Ben Dummett in. "Saudi Aramco Revs Up IPO Plans to List as Early as Next Year". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  5. ^ "UPDATE 1-Saudi NEOM set up as joint stock company run by state fund..." Reuters. 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  6. ^ "Saudi Arabia announces creation of Neom Company". Arab News. 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  7. ^ "Submerged floating bridge wins 'Dream NEOM' contest in KSA". Arab News. 2019-04-13. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  8. ^ "Saudi Arabia announces creation of Neom Company". Arab News. 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  9. ^ "Saudi Arabia Just Announced Plans to Build a Mega City That Will Cost $500 Billion". Bloomberg L.P. 24 October 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Saudis set $500 billion plan to develop zone linked with Jordan and Egypt". CNBC. 24 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Saudi Arabia Reveals NEOM, its Planned Futuristic Megacity". Inverse. October 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "Saudi Arabia's new city, Neom, a mecca for robots". The Washington Times. 24 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Saudi Arabia's new super city: Fast facts". Fox Business. 24 October 2017.
  14. ^ "NEOM - Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF).
  15. ^ "What does Saudi Arabia's mega project 'NEOM' actually stand for?". Alarabiya. 24 October 2017.
  16. ^ "NEOM Saudi Arabia Mega-City - Neom Saudi City". Neom Saudi City. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  18. ^ VICE uses a picture of Gardens by the Bay in a story about a Saudi Arabia megacity, leaving people perplexed, Oct. 25, 2017
  19. ^ Saudi Arabia Is Building a $643-Billion, Green-Powered Megacity, By Alex Stanhope, Oct 25 2017, Vice
  20. ^ a b "Klaus Kleinfeld named adviser to Saudi crown prince, NEOM appoints new CEO". Arabnews. Retrieved 03 July 2018.
  21. ^ FARA registration, US department of Justice
  22. ^ Saudi Arabia's client roster
  23. ^ "Saudi Arabia to start first phase of Neom project". Arab News. 2019-01-16. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia gives green light for development of NEOM Bay". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  25. ^ Bloomberg. "Saudi Arabia to begin building homes in futuristic city Neom". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  26. ^ "Saudi civil aviation announces the opening of NEOM Bay airport". Arab News. 2019-06-25. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  27. ^ a b "Neom airport wins IATA classification as commercial facility". Saudigazette. 2019-05-22. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  28. ^ "Saudi Arabia's NEOM airport set to receive first commercial flight on June 30". Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  29. ^ Saudi prince’s flagship plan beset by doubts after Khashoggi death, Simeon Kerr and Anjli Raval, December 12, 2018, Financial Times
  30. ^ Top tech execs will help Saudi Arabia build its mega city of the future, By Zahraa Alkhalisi, October 11, 2018, CNN
  31. ^ Khashoggi killing derails Bin Salman’s flagship project, December 12, 2018, Middle East Monitor
  32. ^ "A Prince's $500 Billion Desert Dream: Flying Cars, Robot Dinosaurs and a Giant Artificial Moon]". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019.
  33. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

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