TO HAVE A FUTURE, SAUDIES ABANDON OIL
“This place is neither for conventional people, nor for conventional companies. This will be the place for all the dreamers in the world. We have the political will and the desires of our nation. We have everything to create something big in Saudi Arabia”, said royal prince Mohamed Bin Salman when speaking about Neom, the new city being built in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The city will exclusively use renewable energy. Their goal is to outperform cities in Norway and Iceland that also use renewable energy, but not one hundred percent. It will be the first city that will not use fossil fuels.
The first phase of its construction begins this year 2020. It seeks to finish it in 2025.
It will be 33 times bigger than New York.
It will be located in the province of Tabuk, in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea coast, on the route to the Suez Canal. Neom will be located in one of the most important economic arteries in the world. Its location will make it very soon a global hub connecting Asia, Europe and Africa.
It will be built by three of the most important consultants: McKinsey, Boston Consulting, and Oliver Wyman.
“Neom ‘ is a new word that combines the Greek “ neo “, new, and the Arabic” mustaqbal”: future.
Neom will be an avant-garde city. Its economy will focus on the development of biotechnology, the food industry, the entertainment industry, manufacturing, and renewable energy. Neom is the key player in Prince Mohamed’s plan to rescue his country’s economy, shaken by the unprecedented drop in oil prices.
Some of its features will be, flying taxis, an artificial moon, a surveillance system with drones, cameras and Artificial Intelligence that, they promise, will be the most advanced in the world; artificial clouds that will cause rain at will, virtual teachers in public schools. They claim that Neom will have “the most advanced educational system in the world”.
Neom is the centerpiece of Prince bin Salman’s 2030 plan to modernize and diversify the Saudi economy to leave oil dependency behind.
The project was announced in 2017. It has an initial investment of 500 billion dollars. The Saudis are looking for 300 billion to come out of the sale of five percent of the giant Aramco.
But the most important thing is the bet on the modernization of your country.
“This project may be a two-edged sword. If young Saudis work and go in the right direction, they will create a new country, a completely different one… but if they go in the opposite direction, they can destroy their country”.