Saudi Arabia’s smart city NEOM has hosted its first UK roadshow event in London to promote investment opportunities.
It was attended by over 250 leaders from the country’s business, financial, environmental and political circles.
Launched by Saudi’s ambassador to the UK, the Discover NEOM event included presentations, panels and an exhibition of NEOM in film and images, paving the way to direct meetings with the project’s CEO and industry leaders.
Khalid bin Bandar Al-Saud has praised the Kingdom’s progress over the last five years in diversifying its economy, as non-oil revenues increased by 222 percent.
“NEOM is a global hub for innovation and an accelerator for growth,” he said, reiterating the city’s role as the cornerstone of Vision 2030.
Al-Saud has also welcomed numerous UK companies and international talents who already contribute to making the ambitious dream a reality.
NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr reiterated that “NEOM is very much open for business,” referring to the recent establishment of OXAGON.
The world’s largest floating industrial complex, located on the Red Sea close to the Suez Canal OXAGON is to establish a fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for NEOM, as announced last November.
NEOM, as announced in 2017, is the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 flagship project, led by Prince Mohammad bin Salman to act like an engine for the country’s economy.
The $500 billion project is described as the world’s first “cognitive and smart city."
The vast sustainable development covers 10,000 square miles of Tabuk province in north-west Saudi Arabia.
It includes a 170-kilometre long linear city known as The Line, planned to have one million citizens, preserving 95 percent of the nature within NEOM.
The city of NEOM has also signed a deal with the German-based Volocopter to develop the world's first bespoke public transport development, enabling an open electric vertical take-off and landing ecosystem for vertical mobility services, known as eVTOL.
The deal demonstrates NEOM as an ideal region to rapidly implement urban air mobility and create a fully integrated vertical mobility ecosystem, the CEO of NEOM said.
Lord Ed Vaizey, who participated in one of the panels, welcomed NEOM’s financial and technological ambitions across its 14 sectors, and said: “Digital technology is close to my heart, and it was energizing to hear of NEOM’s plans for technology as it builds its cognitive cities.
"The plans for financial services are also dramatic and new, which will have far-reaching affects around the world, but most importantly help to create a more inclusive society in Saudi Arabia, one of the key Vision 2030 goals.”