Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project being built in the Tabuk province in northwest, Saudi Arabia is a new city set to become a hub for smart city technologies and serve as a tourist destination. The city is all part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to end dependence on oil revenues and diversify its sources of income.
The project will turn 50 Red Sea islands into luxury resorts, and include seven cities and tourism projects. Saudi Arabia is working with neighbor Egypt on the project as well, who will focus on developing the existing resort cities in the nearby vicinity.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt set up a $10 billion joint fund to develop about 1,000 square kilometers of Egyptian lands in southern Sinai, to be part of the NEOM project. Additionally, both countries signed an environmental agreement to protect the marine environment and reduce pollution to preserve coral reefs and beaches, and agreed on binding controls to prevent visual pollution.
“The NEOM project and the announcement of Saudi investments are a promising investment opportunity for Egypt,” said Tarek Fahmy, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University. “The announcement of the Saudi crown prince at this time reflects the great strides made by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in achieving its Vision 2030. Bin Salman had rolled out this vision in 2016 with the aim of bringing his country into a post-oil stage by diversifying sources of national income through projects including in the tourism and infrastructure fields. Large investments are expected in Egypt with the support of the Saudi Public Investment Fund. The NEOM megaproject will be a golden investment opportunity not only for Saudi investors but also for Egyptian and international investors.”
The project’s first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2025.