All the latest news from the $500bn mega-city in the desert

Saudi Arabia's Alswaha Discusses Neom and Vision 2030

Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology in Saudi Arabia discusses Neom and Vision 2030. He speaks with Manus Cranny on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East."

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Desert Technologies powers Dakar Rally bivouac in NEOM

In line with the Vision 2030 goals of revolutionizing environmental sustainability, Desert Technologies (DT), a Saudi solar energy firm, launched for the first time its Sahara containerized solar generator (CSG), in collaboration with Green Corp Konnection (GCK), to power part of the bivouac in NEOM during this year’s Dakar Rally.

The unit used one small container (20 feet) and two standard containers (40 feet) to generate 62 kW of energy to partially power the assembly area for rally drivers.

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NEOM begins working from new HQ in NEOM itself

NEOM has begun working from its brand new headquarters a move which will accelerate the pace of growth of the $500bn super project.  More than 450 employees are now based at the new HQ, which is 170-kilometres from Tabuk. That number will increase to 700 by the end of the year.

For those unaware, NEOM is the hugely ambitious project based in Saudi Arabia that will see an area the size of Belgium developed to become a smart city. The ambitious project will hope to be a hub for international innovation and cooperation.  The company will continue to have an office in Riyadh, but the real fun will be had from the new HQ.

Speaking about the move, NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr said “The relocation of our headquarters to NEOM is an important milestone in our journey and will act as a springboard for growth.”

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Saudi NEOM JV working with Lazard on $5 billion hydrogen project

A joint venture comprising Air Products, ACWA Power and NEOM has hired financial firm Lazard to advise it on a planned $5 billion hydrogen project in the NEOM high-tech business zone in Saudi Arabia, sources said.  The project, which will be equally owned by the three partners, will produce green ammonia for export to global markets, the companies said in July last year.

The $5 billion project in NEOM will consist of a 1.2 million tonnes a year green ammonia plant, which will use hydrogen produced from an electrolyser powered by more than 4 GW of solar, wind and storage. Production is due to begin in 2025.

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Ancient art engravings - an open museum of history, overlook NEOM

Alluring majestic mountains, apparently carrying in their folds an open museum of history with vast treasures of rock inscriptions and ancient Islamic writings, overlook Saudi Arabia’s ambitious NEOM project in the northwestern Tabuk region.

There are numerous mountainous regions with rock artworks and inscriptions that date back to different chronological periods, ranging from the Paleolithic to the Islamic period. These rock arts adorn the mountains and heights of the Hasma hilltops, located within the Bajda mountains west of the Tabuk region.

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NEOM announces plans for a 100-mile, car-free linear city called The Line

Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled plans for a 100-mile belt of zero-energy walkable communities for a million people.  The linear city will have no cars or streets, with all residents living within a five-minute walk of essential facilities. Bin Salman announced plans for The Line in a video where he described it as a "civilisational revolution that puts humans first."

According to Bin Salman, who is also the chairman of the Neom company board of directors, construction of The Line will start in the first quarter of 2021.

The city will have no cars or streets, with everything its inhabitants need accessible within a five-minute walk.

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Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Int'l bags $34.9m worth contracts for NEOM

Tadawul-listed Red Sea International Company has secured two contracts worth $34.9m (AED131m) for Saudi Arabia’s $500bn (SAR1.9tn) NEOM gigaproject, backed by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), to design-build and install accommodation units, offices, and all supporting building amenities.  In a stock market filing, the company said that the first contract worth $20.8m (SAR78m) covers engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) works. 

The company said that the contract’s duration will be for four months starting from the contract date.

Red Sea International Company said that the financial impact of the contract will be “represented in generating revenue and profits that are recorded over the period beginning from Q4 2020 until Q1 2021”.

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Deal signed with NEOM to raise environmental obligations in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has inked a deal with NEOM to cooperate on environmental issues linked to the megacity project in the Kingdom’s northwest.

Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ministry and NEOM aimed at jointly dealing with matters related to the scheme’s impact on the environment. The MoU, signed by the Environment Ministry’s undersecretary, Dr. Osama bin Ibrahim Faqiha, and NEOM’s chief executive officer, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, will see the two parties form a joint working team to implement the terms of the agreement.

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Saudi Arabia's construction sector is powering Vision 2030

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, it was reported that the infrastructure and construction industry in Saudi Arabia was amongst the largest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with more than $825 billion worth of planned and unawarded projects. The industry had seen growth in the contracts awarded – from $11.2 billion in 2016 to $14.6 billion in 2018.

With increased focus from both the private and public sector, the need for infrastructure and construction development will continue to grow in line with Vision 2030. As the Kingdom further opens the leisure and hospitality market, the ease of travel to the Kingdom will continue to drive growth in the hospitality sector.

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Edelman Joins Neom As Gurus For Comms, PR And More

Edelman agreed this month to provide communications services to Neom, the $500B mega-city that is the linchpin of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to diversify the Kingdom’s oil-based economy.

Fees for strategic counsel, media relations, stakeholder engagement and content development are capped at $75K per-month under the pact that runs through February.

A formal contract between the No. 1 independent PR firm and Neom, which is owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is currently under negotiation.

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Green Building Technology in Saudi Arabia: Tech as the enabler of NEOM & Vision 2030

"Although oil and gas are essential pillars of our economy, we have begun expanding our investments into additional sectors. Diversifying our economy is vital for its sustainability". Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman made this statement in 2016, while unveiling Vision 2030, an ambitious strategic framework to diversify the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's economy. 

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah became the country's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in 2009. Today, Saudi Arabia accounts for 15% of green building projects in the Arab world, including the highest concentration of gold and platinum LEED-certified buildings.

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