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

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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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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Is Saudi Arabia’s Ambitious Vision 2030 Plan Dead?

A $500-billion smart city. A $200-billion solar farm. Billions of dollars in investments in gas and petrochemicals. These were all facets of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 - perhaps the most ambitious economic diversification in the world. Now, that ambition is in tatters. Can Saudi Arabia pick up the pieces and truly diversify its economy away from oil, or are its plans dead in the water, leaving the Kingdom’s survival forever tied to oil revenues?

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Aecom wins a major design project for Saudi Arabia’s NEOM ‘city of the future’

America’s largest design engineering firm, Aecom, has been appointed to handle the design and support of the “backbone infrastructure” for Saudi Arabia’s NEOM.   Aecom’s President, Lara Poloni, commented on the contract, saying: “We are excited to be playing such a pivotal part in delivering one of the world’s largest and most complex infrastructure projects”.

She then went on to say: “As the centerpiece of Saudi Vision 2030, NEOM will become one of the world’s leading destinations to attract talent and investment and drive economic change in the Kingdom.”

“Our global multi-disciplinary team of experts will bring together a diverse set of skills to deliver a sustainable project that will connect communities and create thousands of jobs across Saudi Arabia.”

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NEOM starts enrolling 50 students for foreign scholarships

NEOM Company has opened registration for the second batch of students for its distinguished foreign scholarship program ending in employment in various sectors of the Kingdom’s ambitious giant smart city project. Registration would continue for a week for the brightest young men and women from the local community in the NEOM project zones in the northern Tabuk region.

Fifty distinguished male and female students will be chosen in the second batch of the program this year. They will be offered scholarships with an opportunity to pursue studies in the most prestigious universities in the world in order to empower them with developing their expertise and skills required for future jobs in NEOM’s 16 core sectors.

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NEOM Intends to Find Partner for Neom City

NEOM executives attended London’s Tech Week looking to find partners for its $500bn Neom City.  Moath Alzahrani, Smart Cities Domain Lead told executives at London’s Tech Week event that “The drive behind all these opportunities is that smart cities will help Saudi Arabia. Smart Cities will create jobs in the public and private sector, increase non-oil revenues and enhance liveability and sustainability.”

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Saudi Ministry of Energy, NEOM agree MoU to coordinate in energy fields

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the chief executive officer of NEOM, Eng Nadhmi Al-Nasr to enhance coordination and cooperation between the two sides in the fields of energy.

The MoU also includes enhanced cooperation in terms of renewable energy, green hydrogen production, application of a circular carbon economy, enhancing local content, innovation and development, and the development and application of artificial intelligence in the energy sector.

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NEOM Selects Bechtel to Accelerate Work on $500bn future city

NEOM has selected Bechtel to accelerate primary infrastructure development for its Cognitive Cities. It has awarded a contract to the U.S.-based global industry leader for executive project management work.

Saudi Arabia is building the crossborder city NEOM, a US$500 billion futuristic mega-project deep in a desert bordering the Red Sea — the Kingdom says “it will be 33 times the size of New York City with plans for flying cars and robot dinosaurs”, according to a report in Business Insider.  Besides Bechtel, Aecom, SNC Lavalin are also in the US$500 billion project.

“Blueprints obtained by the Wall Street Journal detail wild plans for artificial rain, a fake moon, robotic maids, and holographic teachers. Phase one is due for completion in 2020, with the final brick laid in 2025.”

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Explore NEOM’s Natural Majesty

A great video from the NEOM team showcasing the amazing diversity of landscapes in NEOM.

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Middle East AI centre proposed amid $300bn tech boom with NEOM leading the way

Tech experts have proposed creating a new artificial intelligence ‘centre of excellence’ in the Middle East to capitalise on an anticipated $300bn boom in the emerging industry.  Dr. Jassim Haji, president of the Artificial Intelligence Society Bahrain, predicted that new AI-based roles will begin appearing within the next year amid a regional surge in the use of automation.  

It comes after international audit firm PwC predicted that the AI sector will contribute $300bn to the Middle East economy by 2030, fueled by mega-projects and a new wave of innovation.

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Deal signed to promote sports in Saudi Arabia’s Neom

The Leaders Development Institute (LDI) has signed a partnership agreement with Neom — the joint stock company developing the Neom economic zone — to promote sporting activities in the planned smart city, in accordance with the directives of Sports Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. 

LDI will act as sports adviser to Neom and help it design and activate plans for sporting activities, which will be aimed at both eager amateurs and aspiring professionals. Neom’s aim is to become “an international hub for sports” with cutting-edge facilities to host “the world’s biggest sporting events.”

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