Saudi Arabia seeks funding for US$500 billion megaproject

What Oxagon in Saudi Arabia may look like - one of the cities that will be part of Neom, the flagship project of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

According to media reports, executives from Saudi Arabia’s ‘Neom’ project have invited bankers and investors to a meeting in New York, US, next month in a bid to generate investment for the US$500 billion mega project.

Neom is a US$500 billion megaproject that would cover approximately 10,000 square miles of Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk province – the futuristic city would be powered by robotics and artificial intelligence.

The project would see the construction of a more than a 100-mile-long, car-free city built on a straight line, an eight-sided city that floats on the Red Sea called Oxagon, and a mountain ski resort with its own village and manmade lake.

Plans for Neom were first announced in 2017 as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s program to overhaul the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter in line with his so-called ‘Vision 2030’ programme.

It is thought the meeting with investors in the US could be one of several such events, with others taking place in other major cities around the world.

The project has experienced numerous problems – in 2020 Government ministries in Saudi Arabia cut spending by 20% due to the collapse in oil prices triggered by the fall in global demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, putting the project in doubt. Several firms in the construction industry have also stopped working with Saudi Arabia due to the country’s human rights violations.

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