Saudi Arabia announces creation of Neom Company

The closed joint-stock NEOM Company will be fully owned by the Public Investment Fund and develop NEOM, the planned $500 billion mega-city. (Supplied: NEOM)
Updated 05 February 2019

Saudi Arabia announces creation of Neom Company

  • The new company will be entirely owned by the Public Investment Fund
  • Purpose will be to oversee the creation of the $500 billion mega-city

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has established a company to develop NEOM, the planned $500 billion mega-city set to be built in the northwest of the Kingdom, it was announced on Tuesday.

The closed joint-stock NEOM Company will be fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

It will develop the vast NEOM project, which will include multiple cities, airports, a seaport, tourist areas, industrial complexes and “innovation centers.”

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The change in the legal status of NEOM will also allow it to pursue ventures in 16 key economic sectors, including energy, water, tourism, media and health.

Nadhmi Al-Nasr will serve as the CEO of NEOM, according to the statement. 

“The new entity will have a unique and historical role to play as it will be responsible for developing a new global destination from scratch on a huge area and a futuristic civilization that is based on sustainability and livability,” he said.

“All this aims to turn NEOM into a global center for attracting investment, knowledge, innovation and technology in order to compete with all economic capital cities.”

The NEOM project — which was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 — is expected to create thousands of jobs.

Saudi Arabia announced on Jan. 16 that it was to start developing the first urban area of the project.

Chaired by the crown prince, the founding board approved the masterplan concept for NEOM Bay, which will include homes, lifestyle and tourist facilities, and “innovation centers.”

It is expected to focus on luxurious living, and will include high-end hotels and villas.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.