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Saudi Arabia Planning $500 Billion Megacity and Business Zone

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-10-24 19:14:15
Business

Saudi Arabia is planning to build a new $500+ billion city [bbc.com] on the coast of the Red Sea. The zone will be connected to Jordan by land and Egypt by a bridge across the Red Sea [assets.bwbx.io]. SoftBank's Vision Fund will buy a stake in the state-owned Saudi Electricity Co., which will power the city using clean energy. The project is called NEOM:

Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to build a new city and business zone - a project that will be backed up by more than $500bn (£381bn) in investment. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says the 26,500 sq km (10,232 sq mile) NEOM zone will be developed in the north-west, extending to Egypt and Jordan. It will focus on nine sectors including food technology and, energy and water.

The crown prince has been leading a drive to move Saudi Arabia away from its dependence on oil revenues. In August, the Gulf kingdom launched a massive tourism development project to turn 50 islands and other sites on the Red Sea into luxury resorts. However, the extremely ambitious nature of Mohammed bin Salman's vision is sure to raise questions about how realistic it is, the BBC's economics correspondent Andrew Walker says.

What is "NEOM" [alarabiya.net]? "Neo" (Latin for "new") + "Mostaqbal" (Arabic for "future").

Also at Bloomberg [bloomberg.com] (alternate editorial [bloomberg.com]) and Reuters [reuters.com].


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