2019 will be a milestone year in NEOM’s journey: CEO Al-Nasr

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RIYADH — Saudi Arabia plans to start developing the first area of its mega business zone NEOM in the first quarter of 2019, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

The NEOM founding Board approved the strategic concept of the master plan for NEOM Bay, the first urban area to be developed in NEOM, recently in a meeting chaired by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund.

The Founding Board gave instructions to complete preparations and start construction work in the first quarter of 2019. It is expected that a number of key facilities will be completed by the end of this year including the current airport at Sharma, which will be upgraded to become a commercial airport operating regular flights between Riyadh and NEOM. The work on the first phase of NEOM Bay will be completed in 2020.

“The year 2019 will be a milestone in NEOM’s journey; we are now preparing to move on to the construction stages of NEOM Bay area, which will provide a new concept of living and work that can serve as a platform to attract the world’s leading minds to create economic sectors,” Nadhmi Al-Nasr, chief executive officer of NEOM, said.

“The strategy of developing NEOM Bay will be based on four basic pillars,” he explained. The first is to provide a living experience and an ideal quality of life for the families. The second is to create an elegant lifestyle and a tourism and leisure system. The third and fourth pillars are to support the innovation centers to achieve NEOM economic goals.

On innovation centers, he said, “It supports the knowledge-based economy in various sectors such as media and health, while the centers of creativity support art in all its orientations and image to create a unique identity of NEOM.”

He pointed out that these four pillars will be reflected in the entire work of the project development, its essential characteristic.

“NEOM Bay” will be NEOM’s first window to the world, blessed with pristine white beaches and a temperate climate. The project has financial support of over $500 billion from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) providing an attractive investment opportunity for local and international investors, SPA said.

In line with NEOM’s goals to find innovative solutions to the challenges facing humanity, the Bay project is designed to provide sustainable solutions, the most important of which is building an ideal environment for promoting human health, finding solutions to business environment challenges, in various aspects of life. In addition to the development of intelligent urban infrastructure and advanced infrastructure, to form a unique future destination the first of its kind in the world, SPA added.

NEOM is considered to be a first-class eco-friendly project; energy will be generated from renewable sources. Desalination will also be achieved without the disposal of any materials or residues harmful to the marine environment, as well as reducing carbon emissions. — SG/SPA


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