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FACT SHEET on NEOM Project 

press release

HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces: NEOM – The Destination for the Future

NEOM incorporates the new way of life and the strategic crossroads in trade, innovation, and technology with livability at its core

  • NEOM aspires to be the safest, most efficient, most future oriented, and best place to live and work
  • NEOM is developed independent of the Kingdom’s existing governmental framework with investors, businesses, and innovators consulted at every stage of development
  •  NEOM’s unique location connects Asia, Europe, and Africa, will include the world’s most significant and promising economic sectors
  • NEOM land expands over 26,500 km2; its location will facilitate NEOM’s rapid emergence as a global hub that has the potential to bring together the best of Arabia, Asia, Africa, Europe and America
  • NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, local as well as international investors

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), today announced the launch of NEOM.

NEOM is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life. NEOM aims to thrive the transformation of the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.

“NEOM will focus on nine specialized investment sectors and living conditions that will drive the future of human civilization, energy and water, mobility, biotech, food, technological & digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media, and entertainment with livability as its foundation. The focus on these sectors will stimulate economic growth and diversification by nurturing international innovation and manufacturing, to drive local industry, job creation, and GDP growth in the Kingdom. NEOM will attract private as well as public investments and partnerships. NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, local as well as international investors”, said HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

NEOM commands a unique location to bring together the best of Arabia, Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

NEOM resides in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia, and spans over 26,500 km . Overlooking the waterfront of the Red Sea to the South and the West, and the Gulf of Aqaba, NEOM enjoys an uninterrupted coastline stretching over 468 km, with a dramatic mountain backdrop rising to 2,500 m to the East. A constant breeze leads to mild temperatures. The wind and sun will allow NEOM to be powered solely by regenerative energy.

NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries, through which nearly a tenth of the world’s trade flows. Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa, enabling 70% of the world’s population to reach it in under eight hours, which brings the potential to combine the best of major global regions in terms of knowledge,technology, research, teaching, learning, living and working.

The site will also become the main entrance to the King Salman Bridge, linking Asia and Africa, which will add to the zone’s economic significance. NEOM’s land mass will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, rendering NEOM the first private zone to span three countries.

Investments and financing will play a vital role in NEOM, set to be spearheaded by the Kingdom’s economy and supported by PIF – a major global fund with access to a worldwide network of investors and major companies — set to be brought onboard to drive the success of NEOM.

With the ambition of becoming one of the world’s future economic and scientific capitals, in addition to being the future commerce capital of Saudi Arabia, NEOM is set to attract new foreign direct investment that will contribute to PIF’s long-term growth strategy aimed at strengthening the Saudi Arabian economy.

NEOM is developed to be independent of the Kingdom’s existing governmental framework, excluding sovereignty. NEOM will adopt a regulatory framework that fosters technological as well as societal innovation and entrepreneurship in accordance with international best practices. Investors, businesses, and innovators will be consulted at every step of the development in how best to create the economic framework, design the urban plans, and attract top quality talent that will drive the growth of this zone and its resident population.

“NEOM will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects. Future technologies form the cornerstone for NEOM’s development: Disruptive solutions for transportation from automated driving to passenger drones, new ways of growing and processing food, healthcare centered around the patient for their holistic well-being, wireless high speed internet as a free good called “digital air”, free world-class continuous online education, full scale e-governance putting city services at your fingertips, building codes that make net-zero carbon houses the standard, a city layout that encourages walking and bicycling and all solely powered by renewable energy just to name a few. All of this will allow for a new way of life to emerge that takes into account the ambitions and outlooks of humankind paired with best future technologies and outstanding economic prospects”, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman added.

NEOM will achieve its ambitious goals of becoming among the top secure areas in the world – if not the most– by adopting the future technologies in the fields of security and safety. This will raise the standards of public life activities and ensure the safety and protection of residents, visitors, and investors.

All services and processes in NEOM will be 100% fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world, and in turn be implemented on all activities such as legal, government, and investment procedures among others. Additionally, NEOM will be subject to the highest sustainability standards, and will provide all transactions, procedures, and claims through paperless and electronic means.

A new concept for the workforce will be implemented, based on attracting high-caliber human resources with unique competencies for full-time innovation, decision making and business leadership. Repetitive and arduous tasks will be fully automated and handled by robots, which may exceed the population, likely making the NEOM’s GDP per capita the highest in the world. All these elements will put NEOM at the world’s forefront in terms of efficiency which will make it the best destination in the world to live in.

For further information on NEOM please visit DISCOVERNEOM.COM

  • October 26, 2017

Today marks International Women’s Day, an occasion on which to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe. Over recent decades, the world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality. And this counts for Saudi Arabia as it does for the EU’s member states.

Despite having a different system of values, traditions and governance, Saudi Arabia too is changing, and is putting women at the forefront of its transition into the future. Indeed, the role of women is anchored in Vision 2030, the Saudi government’s ambitious economic reform plan, that will boost women’s participation in the workforce from 22 to 30 percent by the end of the next decade.

Already, over the last ten years, women’s employment in Saudi Arabia has increased by 48 percent women, and women outnumber men in Saudi universities. Only last month, Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange – the Tadawul – took the historic step of appointing Sarah Al Suhaimi to the position of chairperson, the first woman to ever hold the position. The announcement was followed by the appointment of Rania Mahmoud Nashar to the position of chief executive of Samba Financial Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest national banks.

In the political sphere too, women now represent around 20 percent of the Shoura council’s 150 members, a greater proportion than women in the US Congress according to the World Bank. Equally it was announced earlier this year that Arabia Gulf Air is expanding the variety of roles available to Saudi women, who are now in charge of customer service, data input, passenger information verification, boarding passengers and providing services to first-class passengers, families and people with special needs.

The appointment of women to increasingly diverse roles at different levels of society shows Saudi Arabia’s resolve to boost the presence of women among all levels of its workforce as part of the Vision 2030 roadmap for economic success. The future is brighter than ever.

The remarkable contribution of women to Saudi society is showcased in a book by Dr Mona Salahuddin AlMunajjed, Saudi Women: A Celebration of Success. Dr AlMunajjed is an award-winning and prominent sociologist in her own right, and her work celebrates the success of women in acting as the driving force behind the Kingdom’s development through the 21st century. She demonstrates how the empowerment of women can have social and economic benefits, engendering positive changes through increased creativity and innovation.

There is of course still much progress to be made, and Vision 2030 includes a number of other reform strategies that will see the Kingdom to develop women’s talents, invest in their productive capabilities and enable them to strengthen their future and contribute to the development of the Saudi society and economy. We look forward to Saudi women making crucial contributions in the economic transformation launched by Vision 2030 and securing prosperity for the Kingdom’s future.

Salam

Salam (meaning peace in Arabic) is a new Saudi initiative that aims to promote mutual understanding between Saudi people and the rest of the world by opening communication channels on all aspects of cultural life.

The Salam Project is an attempt to face the many issues that have stopped the flow of communication and understanding between Saudi Arabia and the world beyond. It is an honest and safe forum for open discussion and positive exchange both for Saudis and non-Saudis alike. Salam aims to help us appreciate what we have in common and talk about some of those more awkward issues that have been ignored or avoided due to a lack of understanding and a reluctance to communicate. This in turn has tended to created unnecessary barriers between both sides. By opening these communication channels and fostering exchange and understanding, Salam hopes to turn such negatives into something positive.

Although still in its early stages, the project has tackled subjects ranging from Saudi history, cuisine, art and festivals such as Al Janadriyah, to education, countering extremism, women in society and human rights law.

You can learn more about the Salam project in the video below or visit www.salam4cc.com. You can even follow the project on its social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

Recently appointed Saudi Minister of Energy, and Chairman of the world’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco, Khalid Al-Falih gives his first interview to a European newspaper. Speaking openly with Klaus Stratmann and Mathias Brüggmann for German business broadsheet Handelsblatt, Mr. Al-Falih addresses key developments of global interest ranging from oil prices to the new compelling plans to revitalize the Saudi economy and society.

On the price of oil…

“It’s always dangerous to predict the price of oil, no matter who you are. The price is formed in the market and is influenced by many factors. Ultimately, market fundamentals, or supply and demand, are the primary determinant of the oil price, and at the moment we see healthy demand for oil.  That said, there are economic headwinds in some important markets and we hope this does not trigger a slowdown in global demand. On the supply side, the recent decrease in prices has led to reduced investment and a considerable drop of oil supplies from unconventional sources.”

“Oil prices at their current levels lead to insufficient revenues being generated by the oil industry, and consequently result in limited investment in future production. This means that in the future, higher levels of demand cannot be satisfied. As a result, we need a price higher than $50 to achieve a balance in oil markets in the long term.”

“Just as $50 is too low to sustain investment, prices in excess of $100 are too much. The optimum lies somewhere in between. We have to manage this issue ourselves. And that is one of the drivers of Saudi Vision 2030: a decoupling of our state budget from the oil market.”

On Saudi Aramco and economic transformation…

“The strong dependence of the Saudi Arabian state budget on Saudi Aramco has long given me worry. It is right that the government wants to gradually disengage from this dependence.”

“The size and complexity of an initial public offering of Saudi Aramco will require a great deal of internal preparation. The actual IPO (Initial Public Offering) timeframe will also be subject to a number of external factors including equity market conditions, oil price outlook, and domestic capital market readiness.”

“Western corporations do play a key part in this economic transformation.  There are a number of capable Saudi corporations. But we are convinced that we can achieve our goals much faster and at a lower cost if we partner with foreign corporations and leverage their technologies, expertise and global networks.  Saudi Aramco is an excellent proof point in this area, as it has become the most valuable corporation in the world, in large part because we have worked together with partners. World-class partners allow us to undertake large-scale complex projects and enhance our operations.”

“Siemens is a good example of mutually beneficial partnership with a leading German firm. They have just invested in the manufacturing of gas turbines in Saudi Arabia and we have an interest in repeating commitments like this.”

On the Public Investment Fund…

“The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is currently located at the Ministry of Finance and will be made into an autonomous fund. It will be the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world.”

“We are targeting a size of 2 trillion dollars, but it could become even more. PIF will target new strategic investments, in order to realize Vision 2030, and will also be active in investments abroad with the aim of generating income and diversification. The introduction of taxes and duties also serves the goal of diversifying government revenue.”

On Saudi Arabia’s key energy goals…

“We have committed ourselves to ambitious carbon reductions during the Paris climate conference late last year. We are convinced that we can achieve these goals and will strive for further progressive reductions when we do.”

“Saudi Arabia is fully on board. The impression that Saudi Arabia is isolating itself from the climate protection goals is completely wrong. We are happy that a flexible agreement was achieved, that allows every country to contribute with its own program. We fully participate in this and have integrated our climate protection goals into our state reform plan, Vision 2030.”

We will replace oil with natural gas, while simultaneously increasing the share of renewables in our energy supply. Wind and solar power are a priority in the first step, though in the medium term we may also rely on nuclear power.”

The government’s Saudi Energy Efficiency Program has already implemented new energy efficiency standards to curb inefficient consumption of energy in the utilities and transportation sectors as well as in electrical appliances. Such standards will preserve precious resources for future generations and help us meet our commitments for carbon emissions reduction.”

On Vision 2030 and rebuilding Saudi society…

“Our society is very young. My generation is in the minority. Young people rely on knowledge and technology and are skeptical toward the ways of the past. They dream of a future where one will not have to look at the daily movement of the oil price. They want innovation, they want to become entrepreneurs, and they want a better future with an engaging career instead of a job as bureaucrat in the public sector. They want to be in control of their own destiny. Vision 2030 makes this possible and enjoys popularity especially among young people.”

“Vision 2030 is mainly about macro-economics, some of which involves the construction of railways, ports and industrial cities. All of this is important and necessary, particularly for private sector growth, enhanced productivity and economic diversification. But essentially it is about developing Saudi Arabia into a country worth living in for the young people and improving the quality of life.”

“We want talented young Saudis and young people from all over the world to live in the Kingdom, to enjoy a high quality of living, and to build bright futures for themselves and their families.”

 

The full original German interview appeared in Handelsblatt on 12th July 2016

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud made an official visit to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris last week.  The Deputy Crown Prince and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, highlighted the need to support the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage damaged by conflicts, especially in Yemen.

The Deputy Crown Prince pledged support for the country’s recovery plans, notably for the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage, including three World Heritage sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Both also stressed the importance of renewed initiatives for citizenship education, intercultural dialogue at a time marked by extremism, intolerance and violence. The Director-General emphasized the imperative need to fight youth radicalization through quality education and invited Saudi Arabia to attend UNESCO’s second conference on the Internet and Youth Radicalization, which will take place in Quebec later this year.

The Director-General expressed appreciation of Saudi Arabia’s support to the Organization, notably the Kingdom’s contribution to strengthening the Organization’s Arabic language capacity and key UNESCO activities. She also highlighted the importance of Saudi heritage, to be promoted as a force for dialogue and mutual understanding. Saudi Arabia has four sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, ten sites included on its national Tentative List and considerations are under way to provide more focus on the protection of natural heritage in view of potential nominations and future inscriptions.

Following the meeting, the Kingdom’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Ziad Al-Driss has said the world body is committed to cooperating with the Kingdom to see it achieve the goals of its Saudi Vision 2030. Irina Bokova has reportedly praised the Saudi strategy, and affirmed that the organisation is ready to cooperate with the Kingdom in the fields pertaining to UNESCO, particularly those related to education, culture and human heritage, in order to help it realize the vision.

Under the National Transformation Plan unveiled by the Saudi Arabia this month, the Kingdom has allocated nearly $1 billion (€0.9 billion) to preserve its cultural heritage. In an ambitious bid to end reliance on oil, the Kingdom is investing in tourism, aiming to increase spending by Saudis at home instead of on holidays abroad. Encouraging visits to local places of beauty or interest is a key Vision 2030 goal. The Kingdom has several world-class sites, some in remote areas, which are all but unknown outside of the Kingdom. For instance, Watan Emosudah, with its low-covered alleyways thick with debris and highly grown thistles, is one of around 4,000 old villages in Asir, where measures will be taken to save agricultural tradition and boost the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.

 

Saudi Vision 2030: Taking Pride In Our Cultural Heritage

 

The Kingdom takes immense pride in the historical and cultural legacy of its Saudi, Arab and Islamic heritage. Saudi Arabian land was, and continues to be, known for its ancient civilizations and trade routes at the crossroads of global trade. This cultural heritage has given Saudi society the richness and diversity it is known for today.

 

The Kingdom recognizes the importance of preserving this sophisticated heritage in order to promote national unity and consolidate true Islamic and Arab values. Saudi Arabia will endeavour to strengthen, preserve and highlight its national identity so that it can guide the lives of future generations. It will continue to work on the restoration of national, Arab, Islamic and ancient cultural sites and strive to have them registered internationally to make them accessible to everyone and, in the process, create cultural events and build world-class museums which will attract visitors from near and far.