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.