NEOM Smart City

· 4 min read
NEOM Smart City is for sale!

by Menna A. Farouk

Thomson Reuters Foundation

In the desert sands of Saudi Arabia’s deep northwest, thousands of workers are building a futuristic city that the kingdom says will be like no other.

Out of the ancient sands will emerge a high-tech urban center called The Line: zero-carbon with flying drones for taxis, holographs for teachers and even a man-made moon.

The smart city is housed within Neom, a $500-billion business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Neom is financed, in part, by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, and is due to be completed by 2025.

While Neom will feature manufacturing and tourism zones, The Line will stack homes and offices vertically, and mine the data of its 9 million people, giving residents more say over their data and paying them for it — a world first, said an official.

“Without trust, there is no data. Without data, there is no value,” said Joseph Bradley, chief executive of Neom Tech & Digital, which will oversee the consent management platform.

“This technology enables users to review and easily understand the intention behind the use of their personal data, while offering financial rewards for authorizing the use of their data,” he said, without giving further details.

The Line is being designed with artificial intelligence at its core, with data used to manage power, water, waste, transport, health care and security, like many smart cities.

Data will also be collected from residents’ smartphones, their homes, facial recognition cameras and a host of other sensors, a data sweep that Bradley said would feed information back to the city and help it predict user needs.

NEOM: World’s Biggest Billion Dollar Smart City Plan

Posted on August 8, 2022 by Nirav Choksi

Saudi Arabia is building a futuristic megacity called Neom in the middle of the Red Sea Desert. Neom is expected to cost around $500 billion to build, and is about thirty-three times larger than New York. The New Neom Project would be decades-long, turning an area largely undeveloped in the kingdom, larger than the whole of Israel, into one of the largest cities in the world.

As part of a $500 billion development project, Saudi Arabia is planning the world’s largest high-rise building in a relatively sparsely populated area of the country. Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has revealed plans for a 100-mile belt of zero-energy, walkable communities housing one million.

The NEOM project is a brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key component in the kingdom’s vision 2030, aiming to diversify their country’s economy and take a lead role in global development. The eight-sided floating port city is the core of NEOM, and is a major component in the Crown Prince’s vision for the transformation of a region that is close to the Suez Canal. While details are currently unclear, the official news report states the eight-sided floating port city will be located directly on the rim of Neom, the recently established region located to the north-west of the Kingdom. The 100-mile-long (170-kilometer) megacity will be made up of interconnected communities – what he calls the city modules – and connect Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast to its northwest.

Neom will use cloud-seeding technology to provide rainfall in the desert cities, feature artificial moons, and employ flying taxis for travel within the city. The town will also have artificial clouds that are going to rain. Although there is scarcity of water in Saudi Arabia, it does not rain there, but there will not be any of that in the city, because through the use of Cloud Seeds, clouds will form in this city, which will actually rain. And the artificial moon will light up the NEOM with its moonlight rays each night.

NEOM Smart City was named as Saudi Arabia’s most appealing megaproject to prospective investors and homebuyers, beating the Red Sea project and the Diriyah Gateway, according to a Knight Frank poll. The kingdom’s first weekly commercial round-trip flight to Dubai from the Saudi smart city NEOM will be launched by Saudia Airlines in June 2022, aiming to show off the giga-project for investors and global curious travelers. NEOM is the most ambitious vision of a new city, an insanely new urbanist project that would add yet another massive new urban investment on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, one that would dwarf all others, stretch across three countries, and cost $500 billion – $2 trillion, a full three years of the nation’s entire GDP. Neom is Prince Mohammed’s vision for turning the rural part of Saudi Arabia into a semi-autonomous, hi-tech, high-review city-life. Asked whether Neom would rival other regional business centers like Dubai, Prince Mohammed said that the result will be more of a mutual benefit rather than a zero-sum. For instance, plans for the $500-billion business city in Neom, which is located on a crossroads between the Sinai Peninsula, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, will attract foreign investment, and it may even be a source of tourist income. Plans for a city in Noem included a bridge across the Red Sea, connecting the proposed new city with Egypt and the rest of Africa. Basically, NEOMs goal is to define a new future for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, designing an advanced city that would span over 10,000 square miles of land in the Red Sea coast of Tabuk Province, Saudi Arabia.