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

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 minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”