Friday, November 10, 2017

NEOM: Vision 2030 - Trump's Mind Blown |  IT IS said to be unlike anything the world has seen before — and that may well be right. 

Saudi Arabia’s visionary Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has offered a glimpse the $640 billion futuristic megacity that will be Saudi Arabia’s next economic powerhouse and it looks very much at odds with the image of the ultraconservative kingdom we’ve seen before.

The project, dubbed NEOM, is part of the young prince’s vision of social and economic changes geared towards a more progressive future for Saudi Arabia.

And in a promotional video for the NEOM project, women can be seen jogging in crop tops and working side-by-side with male colleagues: a far cry from the Saudi Arabia where, up until last month, women weren’t even allowed to drive a car.

NEOM is a business and industrial zone extending to neighbouring Jordan and Egypt and spanning a whopping 26,500sq km — making it 33 times bigger than New York City, and more than twice the size of greater Sydney.

The proposed megacity will be financed by the Saudi government and private investors and powered entirely by wind and solar energy. It will focus on the food, entertainment, energy and water, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing industries.

The NEOM zone would serve as another revenue stream for Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, which has struggled with slumping oil prices since 2014.

Announcing the project at a major investment conference in the capital Riyadh, Prince Mohammed said NEOM would be an example of the hi-tech future he envisioned for his notoriously conservative country.

He held up two mobile phones — one, a modern smartphone and the other, a decade-old device — to illustrate the difference between futuristic NEOM and anything else, Reuters reported.

“This project is not a place for any conventional investor,” the Prince said. “This is a place for dreamers who want to do something in the world.