The project, dubbed Neom, will be built on untouched land along the country's Red Sea coastline near Egypt and Jordan and will span three countries. Saudi Arabia's has announced plans for a new £380 billion ($500 billion) city. The zone will be built on Saudia Arabia's Red Sea coastline and will power itself with green energy sources. The $500 billion (£380 billion) city will run entirely on alternative energy. It will be built on untouched land along the country's Red Sea coastline near Egypt and Jordan.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman unveiled his ambitious blueprint for economic diversification, Vision 203, that includes a greater focus on technology. Saudi Arabia these days is a country in upheaval. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on a mission to fast-forward the conservative kingdom into a modern economy, and he's pushing technology as a key enabler and driver of the transformation. His ambitious blueprint for reform, called Vision 2030, includes a greater focus on technology, with a network of data centers to provide the main framework for the plan. And while it opens up its economy and moves away from being a nation that is almost entirely dependent on oil, Prince Mohammed is aiming to establish a thriving tech ecosystem in the country, an information technology (IT) Mecca.
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince on Tuesday announced plans to build a futuristic city run entirely on alternative sources of energy and said the ultraconservative kingdom must return to "moderate Islam." The $500 billion "Neom" project, envisioned as a hub for technological innovation, will be funded by the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, which the prince oversees, as well as the Saudi government and a range of private and international investors. "This place is not for conventional people or conventional companies," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told an audience of investors from around the world gathered in the capital, Riyadh, on Tuesday. "This will be a place for the dreamers of the world." It's the latest surprise move by Saudi Arabia, a country that for decades was characterized by slow, cautious reforms, bureaucratic red tape and promises that fell short of target.
His new investments come as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also bets heavily on tech companies to draw know-how and expertise to the kingdom. Those efforts are part of the de facto Saudi ruler's long-term plan--called Vision 2030--to reshape the kingdom's oil-reliant economy by boosting the private sector. The country's sovereign-wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, has amassed a nearly 5% stake in electric-car maker Tesla Inc., a senior Saudi adviser familiar with the matter said Tuesday. PIF already has taken a 45% stake in SoftBank Group Corp.'s $100 billion Vision Fund and made a $3.5 billion bet on Uber Technologies Inc. SoftBank is hiring the head of Deutsche Bank AG's unit in Saudi Arabia to lead a new office in Riyadh, with the goal of encouraging the Vision Fund's portfolio startups to set up in Saudi Arabia. "The Saudis likely see these technologies and firms are going to be part of the future…as Saudi Arabia looks to diversify away from hydrocarbon industries," said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.