RIYADH: NEOM, a project fully owned by Saudi Public Investment Fund, is “completely under Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty and regulations,” the Saudi Press Agency reported early Monday, citing an official source.
The clarification came after NEOM's tourism sector head Andrew McEvoy made comments to media during his participation at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai about demographic status within the megacity, suggesting that residents within NEOM will have a special status, distinguishing them from others.
NEOM City will have some special regulations related to investment reflecting its strategy as part of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, to make 'the city of the future' an effective driver in supporting the Saudi economy and the prosperity of the region, according to the company.
Economic legislation specific to the project area will be developed to achieve the best concepts of governance of economic zones in the world, making NEOM one of the most important attractions globally, SPA quoted the source as saying.
The point was underlined by Manar Al-Munif, chief investment officer of NEOM, while speaking at the Saudi-Thai Economic Forum in Riyadh on May 16.
She said the $500-billion future city will have its own regulations based on best practices from around the world that will allow businesses to grow and develop.
Al-Munif revealed that NEOM is the largest Environmental, Social, and Governance initiative in the world, and added that the project will create several investment opportunities for businesses.
“We have identified a number of investment opportunities across 16 sectors in NEOM. These sectors represent the future, and we have outlined 150 investment initiatives. Each of these initiatives is going to have hundreds of opportunities regardless if it is a direct investment, joint venture, or merging,” Al-Munif added.
She also said the NEOM project is trying to reinvent and introduce environmental factors, thus ensuring harmony with nature.