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Will Neom ever be built?
Neom (styled NEOM; Arabic: نيوم Neom, Hejazi pronunciation: [nɪˈjo̞ːm]) is a city being built in Tabuk Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and function as a tourist destination.
What does Neom stands for?
NEOM aims to be the future of livability as its foundation, unprecedented in scope. The name "NEOM" is derived from two words. The first three letters from the Ancient Greek prefix neo-meaning "new". The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Mostaqbal, an arabic word meaning "future".
What is so special about it?
Neom is designed to respond to some of the most pressing global challenges facing urban areas and inspire an alternative way of living. The city will preserve 95 per cent of the natural environment around the site, highlighting mankind's relationship with the natural world.
How long will Neom take to build?
While the deadline to build Neom is 2030, the WSJ reported that an initial impact assessment of the Mirror Line produced in January 2021 said the development would have to be constructed in stages, and could take 50 years to complete.
“NEOM” The giant Saudi project will soon see the light!
By: Marah Sharba
The Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, revealed launching the “The Line” city project, to be the first major development projects in the “NEOM” investing area in the Kingdom.
last October, Bin Salman had announced a project named “NEOM” to establish a commercial and industrial investment zone on the northwest coast of the Red Sea.
Revealing the plan of creating this huge investment zone came at the investment conference Entitled “The Future Investment Initiative” hosted by Riyadh last October with the presence of 3,000 major investors and politicians.
General features of the NEOM project:
-The project costs $ 500 billion.
-The project is located on the Red Sea and the Aqaba Gulf with a total area of 26,500 square kilometers.
– The project extends from the kingdom ‘s northwest and includes lands within the Egyptian and Jordanian borders. – Saudi Arabia has established a special commission to supervise “NEOM” project which is headed by the Crown Prince and will be supported by the Public Investment Fund, in addition to local and international investors.- Saudi Arabia and Egypt have established a joint fund worth $ 10 billion to develop land on an area of more than a thousand square kilometers South Sinai within the NEOM project, and a Saudi official told Reuters that the Riyadh part of the joint investment fund will be cash to help developing the Egyptian side of the project”.- The project will only depend on renewable energy sources.
The Kingdom will establish 7 marine tourist attractions between cities and tourism projects in Neom, in addition to 50 resorts and 4 small cities in a separate tourism project in the Red Sea, while Egypt will focus on developing Sharm El Sheikh and Ghardaka resorts.
It is noteworthy that the project is a special investment zone that is excluded from the usual state laws and regulations such as” taxes, customs, labor laws and other legal restrictions on business” but not the sovereign systems which will give the region the ability to manufacture products and provide services with competitive prices globally.
The first phase of the project ends in 2025 and the project is expected to be completed in a period ranging between 30 and 50 years.
NEOM seeking investors for $20bn brine complex in OXAGON
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s $500-billion megaproject NEOM is negotiating with entities to invest $20 billion to develop its planned brine chemicals complex in the industrial city OXAGON, according to a report.
Citing a close source familiar with the matter, MEED reported that the development will be built in phases and require somewhere between $15 billion to $20 billion in investments.
According to the report, the chemicals complex aims to build industries and plants that convert brine, the main waste output of desalination, into industrial materials that can be used locally or exported internationally.
NEOM’s water and energy subsidiary ENOWA said the brine generated from the desalination plant will be treated to feed industries utilizing high-purity industrial salt, bromine, boron, potassium, gypsum, magnesium and rare metal feedstocks, the report added.
In September, ENOWA’s CEO Peter Terium, during an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Desalination International Conference held in Riyadh, said that NEOM will build a water desalination plant by 2024 to combat water scarcity.
“If you want to build a future land like NEOM, and you want to have liveability, green parks and food production, then you need water, and of all the beautiful things it has, water is not one of them,” he said.
Terium added that the desalination project will be a benchmark in sustainability as it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
In June, ENOWA signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan-based Itochu and French firm Veolia to develop a desalination plant powered by renewable energy in OXAGON.
According to ENOWA, the desalination plant will have a design capacity of 500,000 cubic meters a day and is expected to become operational by 2024.
NEOM is Saudi Arabia’s most ambitious project, as the Kingdom eyes diversifying its economy in alignment with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. The construction of the project is progressing steadily in the Tabuk Province in north-western Saudi Arabia, and upon completion, it is expected to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Kingdom.
ABU DHABI, UAE: Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, ADNEC Group has announced that NEOM will be the headline sponsor for the Global Media Congress.
Taking place November 15-17, the Global Media Congress, organized by ADNEC Group in partnership with Emirates News Agency (WAM), is a specialized conference and exhibition that focuses on the latest developments in and the future of the media industry. The event provides opportunities for various media institutions to discuss partnerships and collaborative avenues that will bolster the development of the media sector, ensuring its long-term sustainability and the continued provision of solid, reliable and highly credible content.
Announced by HRH Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince, and Chairman of the NEOM Company Board of Directors, NEOM is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia being sustainably developed with the world’s most advanced technologies to redefine how humanity lives, works, and prospers. One of the most important projects under Saudi Vision 2030, NEOM has economic advancement as one of its key pillars.
As creative industries and the media sector in particular are recognized as powerful growth drivers for economies and progressive societies around the world, a vibrant media industry is a key element in NEOM’s ongoing development.
Saeed Al Mansoori, CEO of Capital Events part of ADNEC Group said, “We are thrilled to welcome NEOM on board as the headline sponsor for the first edition Global Media Congress. The event aims to unite the entire media sector to exchange groundbreaking ideas and cutting-edge solutions shaping the future of the industry, which comes in line with NEOM’s goals. We are excited to work together to provide a unique platform to highlight the position of mass media in the Middle East whilst engaging a global audience, driving innovative visions and collaborations that will advance the sector.”
Wayne Borg, Managing Director of Media Industries, Entertainment and Culture at NEOM said, “Our partnership with the Global Media Congress complements NEOM’s commitment to creating a regional epicentre for the media industries, one that places the region amongst the elite global media hubs. The partnership will allow us to share our vision for establishing a true focal point for industry, creatives, and talent to collaborate powered by state-of-the-art infrastructure and the very latest technologies, all integrated like never before.”
Saudi's NEOM appoints Independent Safety Assessor for THE LINE urban development project
Egis and CERTIFER consortium to provide ISA services at system-wide level for THE LINE and NICC
Saudi mega project NEOM has appointed French construction engineering and mobility consultancy Egis, its subsidiary AuditSafe, and Certifer to act as the Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for the railway system in THE LINE and the NEOM Industrial City Connector (NICC).
The NICC will comprise of several individual lines: high speed rail lines, freight rail lines, Metro/GMT rail lines, depot rail lines and platform loops, Egis said in a press statement.
THE LINE, announced in January 2021, is a linear urban development of hyperconnected communities with walkable neighbourhoods, powered by 100 percent by renewable energy.
Egis said the transport system will be located at the physical and digital infrastructure layer beneath the ground of THE LINE, and will weave 5G, fibre, satellite, and wireless solutions throughout the communities of the urban development. High-speed transport links will allow residents to reach any part of THE LINE within 20-minutes.
The scope of work for the consortium is to act as an ISA at the overall system-wide level for THE LINE and NICC as required by NEOM and includes all necessary assessment tasks to obtain the required licenses in order to achieve permission for the systems to operate with passengers and carry revenue freight, according to the press statement.
In addition, the independent safety assessment shall assess that the safety organisation and its responsibilities have been clearly identified and implemented, the design requirements have been validated and verified, the hazard management processes are suitable, risks have been reduced to the lowest level and residual hazards have been addressed through appropriate mitigations.
THE LINE, which is 200 meters wide, 170 kilometres long and 500 meters high, will eventually accommodate 9 million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometres, according to past presss statements from NEOM.
(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)
Drone Footage Suggests That Construction Has Begun At ‘The Line,’ Saudi Arabia’s Futuristic Desert City
By Kaleena Fraga | Checked By John Kuroski
Published November 8, 2022 Updated November 9, 2022
Although construction on "The Line" appears to have begun in the desert of Tabuk, some insist that this vertical megacity is too unrealistic to work.
In Saudi Arabia, the future has already begun. There, a project called NEOM has allegedly started construction on The Line, a self-contained megacity designed to stretch 1,600 feet tall, 650 feet wide, and 105 miles long.
According to Gizmodo, drone footage shot by the Saudi Arabian company Ot Sky, and posted by the architecture news outlet Dezeen on YouTube suggests that construction of The Line has begun in the desert near Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.
The minute-long video begins with the title “The Line Project: New Wonders For The World” and shows a flurry of trucks and construction workers in the desert as triumphant orchestral music plays.
As CNBC reports, The Line is one part of the greater NEOM initiative, which seeks to construct three futuristic “regions” in Saudi Arabia. In addition to The Line, which could someday house nine million residents, it has also planned a floating industrial complex called Oxagon and a “mountain-air” getaway called Trojena that will offer skiing, biking, water sports, and more.
“NEOM is a vision of what a new future might look like,” the company explains on its website, adding: “Simply put, NEOM will be a destination, a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living, working, and prospering.”
CNBC reports that the $500 billion NEOM project is part of an initiative in Saudi Arabia called Vision 2030, which was designed to diversify the Saudi economy in order to lessen the country’s economic reliance on oil. But is NEOM realistically possible?
NEOM’s plausibility seems to depend on who you ask. According to The Guardian, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, raved that the project is “a civilizational revolution that puts humans first, based on a radical change in urban planning.”
Likewise, NEOM project leaders are insistent that the project — though very ambitious — will be completed.
“I want to be clear about this — NEOM is a complex, bold, and highly ambitious undertaking and is most certainly not an easy one to deliver,” Antoni Vives, the chief urban planning officer at Neom, told CNBC. “But we are making strong progress, and it’s exciting to see the vision come to life.”
That said, the NEOM project has also faced plenty of critics. According to VICE, many experts have dismissed the NEOM project as unrealistic and unlivable. Specifically, many critics have expressed doubt that these megacities would be as sustainable as they claim.
“Utopian thinking is important; it helps us challenge the preconceptions in the built environment that have generated conventional outcomes which we know contribute to environmental degradation,” Philip Oldfield, the head of the built environment school at the University of New South Wales Sydney told Dezeen, as reported by VICE. “But I think the sustainability and liveability arguments [in relation to NEOM] are naive.”
Rowan Moore, The Guardian’s architecture correspondent, agrees.
“The Line raises doubts, urbanistically speaking,” Moore argued. “How can such a colossal project be in any sense sustainable, given that its construction would produce (according to one estimate) more than 1.8bn tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to more than four years of the UK’s entire emissions?”
Moore took other issues with the project as well, adding: “What is the benefit of its height when there is so much desert in which it could spread out? What would actually be good about life in this deep narrow canyon, probably subjected to high levels of surveillance and control?”
Moore also pointed out that the NEOM project has resulted in human rights violations, as several members of the Huwaitat tribe were arrested for protesting their eviction from their homes to make way for the project, and sentenced to death.
Given the controversy — and the huge undertaking of building a megacity like The Line — many have professed doubt over whether or not it will ever come to fruition. For now, the world will have to wait and see.
Maybe NEOM will emerge as a series of futuristic cities in the next few years. Or maybe its grand dreams of places like The Line, Trojena, and Oxagon, will continue to exist only in the pages of science fiction novels.