NEOM second phase to begin this year, says CEO

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CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr gives an address at NEOM. (Photo Supplied)
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Over 70 Ambassadors visit NEOM for the first time. (Photo Supplied)
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CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr gives an address at NEOM. (Photo Supplied)
Updated 25 July 2019

NEOM second phase to begin this year, says CEO

  • Nadhmi Al-Nasr welcomes diplomats for inaugural visit to the city
  • Phase 2 strategy to be completed by end of 2019; targets 1 million population by 2030 

RIYADH: Day by day, NEOM is becoming a reality as more facilities are built at the project’s first urban area, NEOM Bay. It is just the start, and work will continue endlessly, CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said in his address to a large diplomatic gathering on their first visit to the site, located in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia. 

With cool weather, clean beaches and historical sites, NEOM is set to be a beautiful and sustainable destination. 

Speaking to over 160 diplomats who attended NEOM’s first ever beach sports events, Al-Nasr stated that the first phase of NEOM’s construction is now complete, and the world’s most ambitious project is set to announce its second phase strategy by the end of 2019. 

The journey of NEOM started in October 2017 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman introduced the project to the world. The first phase strategy, a plan covering the economic concept, the funding, and the road map of the project, was developed, while the second phase will include detailed plans for NEOM’s 16 economic sectors and regions.

“We started Phase 2’s strategy, and we will finish that by end of 2019, which means by the end of the year we will share with the world what NEOM is going to be,” Al-Nasr added while speaking in  Gayal, a coastal site close to Sharma, where NEOM’s first commercial airport is located.

NEOM Bay will host a second airport, offices, and residential units for construction workers assigned to the rest of the development. One of its business objectives is to be home to new technologies that will influence the new wave of industrialization. To spur the technological advancement within NEOM, Al-Nasr said that the project “will be funding technology development, and we will be partnering with leading technology partners in the world.” 

HIGHLIGHTS

Over 70 ambassadors visit NEOM for the first time.

Phase 2 strategy to be completed by end of 2019; targets 1 million population by 2030.

As one of its 16 economic sectors, the tourism sector plans to be a major destination as it targets 5 million visitors by 2030, Al-Nasr told the diplomats. For this purpose, NEOM is developing different island and mountain resorts. Attracting such a huge number of visitors is a challenge, and the CEO added: “Some are saying that this is a long shot, but our business is to only address long shots.”

NEOM is also targeting 1 million citizens by the year 2030 “or little bit beyond,” he said. 

NEOM is strategically situated in a location accessible by 70 percent of global population within 8 hours. Al-Nasr highlighted that Rome is reachable by air in around 3 hours, while London is 5 hours away.

In his address, he invited the diplomats to be part of NEOM. “We want you to think that one day you could be living in NEOM, working and retiring in NEOM, and of course, we don’t mind you investing in NEOM.”

Australian Ambassador Ridwaan Jawdat told Arab News: “I was very impressed by the incredible natural beauty of the NEOM site — the beaches, water and coral reefs were stunning. I enjoyed touring the locations and meeting the staff. It is an extraordinarily ambitious project, and I was very happy to be given some insights on the vision and the planning.”

The tour concluded with a visit to the International Beach Soccer Tournament hosted by NEOM.

Dutch Ambassador Joost Reintjes asked about the King Salman Bridge, which Al-Nasr explained would “not only connect Saudi Arabia with Egypt, but with Asia and Africa.”

He concluded: “We started NEOM but we aren’t going to finish. There is no end to NEOM.”

 


Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

Updated 15 September 2019

Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

  • Saudi Aramco says no staff have been injured in attacks
  • The oil giant is working on restoring the lost quantities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said drones that attacked Saudi Aramco installations had caused an interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies and threaten the world economy.

The Arab Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said in a statement that investigations are ongoing to identify the perpetrators.

And Al-Maliki said Arab coalition forces would continue to implement necessary measures to deal with the terrorist threats.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said as a result of the terrorist acts, oil production in Abqaiq and Khurais was knocked out temporarily and that estimates show that 50 percent of the company’s production had been interrupted.

Part of the decrease will be compensated to clients through reserves, Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency.

The newly appointed minister confirmed there were no injuries to staff at the locations targeted, adding that the company is still assessing the resulting damage.

The attacks not only target the Kingdom’s vital installations, but also target the international oil supply and threaten its security, he said, and are a threat to the world economy. 

The blasts took place at 3:31am and 3:42am at the two locations, both in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, causing fires that were brought under control by emergency services.

The drone attacks, at the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq and at an oilfield in Khurais, highlight the importance of the international community to protect energy supply against “all terrorist sides that carry out, support and finance such cowardly disruptive acts,” the statement said.

He said that these blasts also knocked out the production of 2bn cubic feet of associated gas daily, used to produce 700,000 barrels of natural gas liquids, which will lead to an approximate 50 percent decrease of Ethane and natural gas liquids supply.

The statement said the company is currently working on restoring the lost quantities, and will present updated information within the next 48 hours.

World leaders condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia on Saturday and those behind the terrorist acts. 

Donald Trump called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reassert his country's “readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom, by all means conducive to maintain its security and stability.”

The Crown Prince "underscored the Kingdom’s willingness and strength to thwart such a terrorist aggression and deal with its consequences,” SPA reported on Saturday.

The UAE said it “condemns this act of terrorism and sabotage and considers it as a new evidence of the terrorist groups’ attempts to undermine the security and stability of the region as a whole.”

“The Houthis must stop undermining Saudi Arabia’s security by threatening civilian areas and commercial infrastructure,” said the British government.

“The US strongly condemns today’s drone attacks. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost,” said the US envoy in Riyadh John Abizaid.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was emphatic about the need to condemn Iranian aggression, specifically on Saudi Arabia, and the need to ensure the security of world energy supplies.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” he tweeted, “We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression”

The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, said they had carried out the attacks and that 10 drones had been used.