Saudi Arabia Is Building a Futuristic Mega-city That Will Cost $500 Billion
Saudi Arabia is building a mega-city that will span three different countries.
The country’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, announced the $500-billion plan, which will create a futuristic city in the northwestern region of the country.
The city is set to be the world’s first independent economic zone, operating with its own laws, taxes, and regulations.
NEOM will be powered completely by renewable energy from solar and wind panels, with its transport system also running on 100 percent green energy.
Vertical urban farms, seawater farming, and solar-powered greenhouses will help provide residents with fresh food supplies, and the zone will also be a space to test out new technological advances like passenger drones and self-learning traffic systems.
Located next to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, the massive city will also provide a serene landscape composed of more than 290 miles of coastline and vast desert terrain.
The city's coastline includes a variety of untouched beaches and coastal reefs and its valleys are cradled by mountains, creating a more moderate climate than that of nearby areas.
Plans also include the creation of sports and visual arts venues, a variety of marinas and waterside restaurants, record-breaking theme parks, natural parklands, a water park with a wave pool where Olympians will practice, and what officials say will be the world’s largest garden.
The move comes as the world’s largest oil exporter looks to boost its economy after falling oil prices.
Construction is already set to begin, with the first phase planned for completion by 2025. You can follow the progress of NEOM’s development through an interactive map on the project’s website.