First phase of NEOM construction underway

NEOM is a planned 10,230-square-mile transnational city and economic zone to be constructed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Updated 26 October 2018
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First phase of NEOM construction underway

  • NEOM to develop 16 economic sectors, and the first airport will be operational soon
  • Work on NEOM Bay is rapidly progressing with future target of $100 billion of income per annum

LONDON: NEOM, the giga project to be built on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, has entered the first phase of development with preparation works to develop the infrastructure of the first residential area.



NEOM, a project of unprecedented scale, was first announced at last year’s FII. It is being developed with the principles of livability and innovation at its core. It encompasses 26,500 square kilometers of land, ranging from scenic coastline to desert to snow-capped mountains. It forms part of the Saudi Giga-Projects Investment Pool for the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia which also includes the Red Sea Project and Qiddiya. 

Work on the first airport in the development is expected to be completed before the end of 2018 with the first bi-weekly flights operating at the start of 2019, NEOM said in a statement.

It is part of a general plan to establish a network of airports in NEOM that will include an international airport with world-class standards.

NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “We are working hard to ensure that the newly created towns and cities in NEOM will create new ways of living, economy, trade, innovation that at the end will make NEOM an ideal environment for all of its future residents.” 



The project planners have also identified 16 economic sectors to create a sustainable economy which are expected to eventually generate an estimated annual income of $100 billion. 

A large part of this income will be in the form of redirecting the outflow of investments and spending back into Saudi Arabia. This in return will have a significant positive impact on the Kingdom’s GDP, NEOM said in a statement.



The 16 sectors focus on; the future of energy, water, mobility, biotech, food, manufacturing, media, entertainment, culture and fashion, technology and digital, tourism, sport, design and construction, services, health and well-being, education, and livability.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

The project will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. (SPA)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

  • Master plan preserves 75% of the islands for conservation
  • The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands

JEDDAH: Plans to develop one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects in Saudi Arabia, have been given the green light. The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), which is leading the luxury leisure project, has received final approval from its board of directors for the program’s master plan.
The tourism project, drawn up in partnership with global design firm WATG and engineering giant BuroHappold, will incorporate state-of-the-art building design concepts from some of the world’s top architectural firms and is expected to create up to 70,000 new jobs.
The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts on the Kingdom’s west coast. Phase one will also include marinas, leisure and lifestyle amenities and an airport to serve the destination.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves some 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said: “The design concepts that we have presented to the board will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.
“With the master plan approved, we are now identifying investors and partners who are interested in working with us on realizing the objectives of the project and who share our commitment to enhance, not exploit, the natural ecosystems that make the destination so unique.”
The approved master plan will steer the development of 22 of the 90-plus islands at the destination, providing up to 10,000 hotel rooms across island resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways. The location will also offer luxury residential properties and a wide range of commercial, retail and recreational facilities.
The master plan is underpinned by an extensive smart destination management system that will support a wide range of personalized products and services designed to appeal to the modern luxury traveler.
TRSDC employed the world’s first destination-scale computer simulation techniques, created in Saudi Arabia, to assess the impact of the development and future tourism on the environment. The resulting plan now targets a 30 percent net increase in biodiversity over the next two decades, a conservation equivalent to designating the site as a marine protection area.
Technology also underpins the destination’s sustainability initiatives, with a suite of sensors and monitoring devices in place to track and measure variations in environmental factors such as water salinity, temperature, visibility and tidal flows.
“The leadership of the Kingdom has shown great foresight in its insistence on balanced development of this pristine destination,” said Pagano. “Our plan not only envisions a stunning luxury destination, it also takes tangible, measurable steps to enhance that destination for future generations to enjoy and cherish.”