NEOM to help Saudi Arabia become tech exporter, center for innovation: Deputy CEO

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The Saudi mega-project NEOM’s advancements will play its part to transition the Kingdom from being known for oil and gas, into a country known for innovation and the export of technology, the Deputy CEO of NEOM Rayan Fayez said during a WEF Davos panel on Thursday.

“The idea is not only to build a big and impressive real estate development, but also a real economy behind it,” said Fayez.

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The development is being built on five percent of a piece of land nearly the size of Belgium – 26,500 square kilometers – and will reportedly “redefine livability, businesses and relationship with nature,” according to the deputy CEO.

The remaining 95 percent will be maintained as a nature reserve.

“Every major city has a big park in the city, yet they are not accessible to everyone. We like to think of THE LINE as a city within a park,” he added.

The development will be split into 14 economic zones. The first phase will be ready by 2027 and continue developing into 2045, Fayez said, calling it a “generational project.”

“These projects come from the right vision and right leadership,” he said, crediting Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s chairmanship.

The rules and regulations will be “future proof,” he added.

The deputy CEO revealed that at least 2,500 people who are employed to oversee the development, are already residing at NEOM.

That number is expected to reach one million by 2030, many of whom Fayez said will be the “best talent from around the world.”

At least 20 percent of the project’s infrastructure has been completed, NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi al-Nasr told Al Arabiya on Thursday.

As a main gateway to the Red Sea, the Sindalah Island is expected to be the first project to open and welcome visitors starting early 2024, the NEOM CEO added.

The development will be fully powered by sustainable sources of energy from solar and wind.

Read more:

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