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Saudi Arabia’s NEOM and Its Impact on Real Estate

Saudi Arabia’s 100-mile mega-city, NEOM, is set to change the landscape of the Arabian Peninsula. The $500 billion project is expected to be a marvel of human ingenuity and technological innovation.

NEOM project gets its name from the Ancient Greek prefix “Neo” which means “new”. The letter “M” is derived from the Arabic word, “Mustaqbal” meaning “Future”. The futuristic city is a testament to the use of cutting-edge technology to create a plan for sustainable living where humans live in harmony with the natural world.

With its bold vision, astonishing design and unfaltering commitment to sustainability, NEOM promises to utilize artificial intelligence to create a utopian futuristic city which will bolster economic growth, integrate sectors and bind creative individuals in a common quest for excellence.

While economists, analysts, architects and people working on the plan contemplate the scale and scope of the project, the project is expected to completely alter Saudi Arabia’s economic realm.

Graana.com explores the different ways in which NEOM is expected to impact the real estate realm, both within Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Blueprint for Sustainability

Saudia Arabia’s Vision 2030 involves the development of a 26,500 sq-km city on the Red Sea coast. NEOM is a carefully planned city located northwest of Saudi Arabia. The city hopes to “protect 95% of the surrounding natural landscape” by focusing heavily on sustainable development.

Source: BBC

As part of the plan, the masterminds of the project expect the city to be fully focused on renewable energy. The primary focus will be on solar and wind energy which will cater to 100% of the energy needs.

This falls in line with the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who announced that by 2030, the country will meet half of its energy needs from renewable energy. The carbon-free city will incorporate cutting-edge technology to create efficient systems for waste management, sustainable modes of transportation and energy generation.

Moreover, it will create a multi-dimensional hydrogen ecosystem that will use hydrogen-based technologies and applications not only in Saudia Arabia but will also export to other countries.

Futuristic Architectural Design

Dubbed “The Line”, the world’s first zero-gravity zero-carbon vertical city, the city will house 9 million residents by 2045. The city will not have roads, cars or emissions; it will be 100% renewable and will preserve 95% of the land for the future.

The transport plans of the city will be heavily dependent on AI technology to allow societies to coexist with nature. The project is to reduce the infrastructure footprint through never-before-seen efficiencies.

Source: NEOM.com

Moreover, there will be a series of hyper-connected networks where residents will have all major facilities within a 5-minute walk. A high-speed train with a 20-minute end-to-end transit will also be operated.

The city will be an architectural marvel with futurist designs and ambitious plans. If implemented, the city will be a sight to behold.

Integrated Industrial Hub

NEOM’s industrial hub Oxagon is termed the world’s largest floating industrial complex. It is located on the Red Sea in close proximity to Suez Canal.

Source: NEOM.com

The ideal location of the industrial hub provides it with the opportunity to be critically integrated with the world. The port and supply chain ecosystem will provide outstanding logistics and rail services for NEOM city.

In addition, NEOM and its urban air mobility partner Velocopter are responsible for the design and operation of world-class public electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing mobility systems.

Bolstered Tourism

The tourism plans for NEOM include the launch of the Trojena Mega Tourism Project. The project will be situated in the snow-capped mountainous terrain of the country and is expected to be completed by 2026.

Source: NEOM.com

Trojena will provide an unrivaled experience with the highlight of the project being “The Vault”  and a mesmerizing man-made freshwater lake.

The project will further include a plethora of tourist services such as wellness resorts, restaurants, and retail stores. Recreational facilities such as snowboarding, mountain biking, skiing, high-altitude training, paragliding, and hiking will also be provided to the tourists.

As per estimations, the tourism wing will create more than 10,000 jobs and attract 7,000 residents and 700,000 visitors by 2030.

Increased Real Estate Investment

Saudi Arabia’s new Giga projects attracted interest from across the globe. According to a study conducted by Knight Frank, in partnership with YouGov, NEOM topped the list of lucrative investment opportunities as viewed by household members.

Source: NEOM.com

41% of the respondents termed NEOM as the most attractive of the mega projects. This was also the place where the respondents said that they would be interested in buying a home. The popularity of NEOM was highest in Dammam (44%), followed by Jeddah (43%) and Riyadh (39%).

While there is no denying that Saudi Arabia’s NEOM will change the real estate landscape of not only the country but also the entire world but much of that success depends on the realization of the promise.

Will Saudia Arabia deliver on its promise of being a pioneer in urban planning and future development? Only time can tell!

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