Dubai 2.0: What You Need To Know About Saudi’s $500 billion CRAZIEST City NEOM

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First robots got citizenship, then plan to have children and now they can receive their own city? Saudi Arabia’s crown prince plans to build a city bigger than Dubai and with more robots than humans.

Here’s everything you need to know about sci-fi city Neom in the Desert.

Utopian Megacity

The $500 billion megacity, whose name is an amalgamation of neo—Latin for “new”—and “m” for the first letter in mustaqbal, the Arabic word for “future,” is promised to be filled with skyscrapers, five-star hotels, and robots to free humans from repetitive labor. Robots may outnumber humans as “a new blueprint for sustainable life”, which would be entirely powered by renewable energy, and served by driverless vehicles and vertical farms.

“Repetitive and arduous tasks will be fully automated and handled by robots, which may exceed the population, likely making the Neom’s GDP per capita the highest in the world,” is written on the project’s website. “All these elements will put Neom at the world’s forefront in terms of efficiency, which will make it the best destination in the world to live in.”

The city will be developing in nine key investment sectors: energy and water, mobility, biotech, food, technological and digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media, and entertainment.
The first phase of construction is expected to complete by 2025, but details of what that will entail have yet to be released.

Saudi’s city of future

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has a strong desire to create a very first sci-fi city of future with numerous robots, advanced manufacturing, biotech that will make it a fully automated city.

“We want the main robot and the first robot in Neom to be Neom, robot number one,” the crown prince said in an interview in a palatial setting next to the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. “Everything will have a link with artificial intelligence, with the Internet of Things—everything.”

It is also expected that the new city will become a future for Saudi’s economy that’s now facing a severe financial squeeze.

The city “constitutes an attempt to create an economic zone that is more efficient and streamlined than the overall economy that will take time to reform,” said James Dorsey, a Middle East specialist at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. “The question is whether one can isolate a megacity from the inefficiencies of the country’s economy.”

neom-saudi-arabia-city-photo

Source: discoverneom

Location

Neom will be partly located in an area known as Ras Sheikh al-Hameed, a peninsula of land jutting about 31 miles (50 kilometers) into waters of the Red Sea after turning west off of route 5, the Saudi coastal road. The city is going to span an area of 26,500 square kilometres, stretching across the borders of northwest Saudi Arabia into Jordan and Egypt.

Map Google, CNES/Astrium, DigitalGlobe

The aim is to create an independent economic trade zone with its own laws that further will become the first private business zone to span three countries.

saudi-neom-city-plan-map-photo

No alcohol allowed

Saudi cities are famous for strict Islam regulations that for example, forbid alcohol, women driving (the law is set to change next year) and gender mixing in public places. Alongside Dubai is alcohol is tolerated, as are tourists in bikinis, and the United Arab Emirates government has allocated land for churches and temples.

According to promo video, Neom is going to be more Dubai-like. Although the futuristic city will be business friendly, the government won’t allow alcohol, Prince Mohammed said.

“We can do 98 percent of the standards applied in similar cities, but there is 2 percent we can’t do, like, for example, alcohol,” the prince said. “A foreigner, if they desire alcohol, can either go to Egypt or Jordan.”

The planned city, though, won’t compete with Dubai, but rather complement it and other parts of the Gulf, according to Prince Mohammed. It will create “new demand, not the same demand of Dubai,” he said. “It will help Dubai, it will help Bahrain. It will help especially Kuwait,” which can export to Europe faster and cheaper than now, he said.

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Summary
Dubai 2.0: What You Need To Know About Saudi’s $500 billion City NEOM
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Dubai 2.0: What You Need To Know About Saudi’s $500 billion City NEOM
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First robots got citizenship, then plan to have children and now they can receive their own city? Saudi Arabia’s crown prince plans to build a city bigger than Dubai and with more robots than humans.
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