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An intelligent new city...

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By Dr Jassim Haji
1 of 2

We recently all heard the intriguing announcement by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, regarding the construction of the most anticipated city, Neom.

This future destination of a city has been labelled a civilisation leap for humanity, which will serve as a business hub with advanced manufacturing, bio-tech, media and airlines. It will be built from scratch, will be bigger than Dubai and have more robots than humans, and everything will be linked to artificial intelligence through Internet of Things.

Wind and solar power will allow Neom to be powered solely by regenerative energy, while 70 per cent of the world’s population will be able to reach it within a handful of hours.

The project aspires to be the safest, most efficient, most future-oriented, and best place to live and work. It is being developed independent of the kingdom’s existing governmental framework with investors, businesses, and innovators consulted at every stage of development.

Neom will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the kingdom, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, local as well as international investors.

It is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life. Neom aims to drive the transformation of the kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.

It commands a unique location to bring together the best of Arabia, Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Neom resides in the Northwestern region of Saudi Arabia, and spans over 26,500 kilometre square. Overlooking the waterfront of the Red Sea to the south and the west, and the Gulf of Aqaba, Neom enjoys an uninterrupted coastline stretching more than 468km, with a dramatic mountain backdrop rising to 2,500m to the East. A constant breeze leads to mild temperatures.

The city is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries, through which nearly a tenth of the world’s trade flows. Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa, which brings the potential to combine the best of major global regions in terms of knowledge, technology, research, teaching, learning, living and working.

It will achieve its ambitious goals of becoming among the top secure areas in the world – if not the most– by adopting the future technologies in the fields of security and safety. This will raise the standards of public life activities and ensure the safety and protection of residents, visitors, and investors.

All services and processes in Neom will be 100pc fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world, and in turn be implemented on all activities such as legal, government, and investment procedures among others. Additionally, it will be subject to the highest sustainability standards, and will provide all transactions, procedures, and claims through paperless and electronic means.

A new concept for the workforce will be implemented, based on attracting high-calibre human resources with unique competencies for full-time innovation, decision making and business leadership, which will be a great opportunity for Bahrain and the Bahraini calibre to be part of this mega project.

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