CEO of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM: Proper planning key to building ‘land of the future’

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CEO of NEOM Nadhmi Al-Nasr said it’s through proper planning that they can achieve the NEOM vision to be the land of the future and to develop a completely new and different way of living.

In an in interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Nasr explained the aim is to develop NEOM – the economic zone – in an integrated manner. Among its components are the residential city, the industrial zone, King Salman Bridge that will link the Kingdom and Egypt and other facilities.

He noted that the most important component is the different economic systems whose integration will embody the pioneering model of the NEOM vision, adding that it is wrong to develop infrastructure without developing the economic sectors which will work in it.

“Accordingly, we’ve begun developing strategies and work plans simultaneously on three paths. The first one pertains to administrative and financial regulations and measures exclusive to NEOM as an independent company, the second one is developing economic sectors and the third is planning to build, construct and develop infrastructure,” Nasr said.

300 employees from 16 nationalities currently work for NEOM, Nasr said, adding that what’s happening in NEOM is the result of continuous work, great effort and extensive studies as for instance studies were carried out on 1,600 cities across the world and 34 of them were analyzed with the help of international experts.

He added there were three main elements that guarantee implementing the planning phases well, on time and within the allocated budget and they are political will, adequate funding and governance.

According to Nasr, the biggest challenge in achieving the NEOM vision is simply careful planning that foresees future opportunities.

“As Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said while unveiling the project’s vision, we do not want to realizes 15 years later that we missed an opportunity because we did not plan it right,” he said, adding that what has been accomplished so far, both in quantity and quality, is based on proper planning.

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