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Wed 30 Jan 2019 12:12 PM

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Saudi forms new company to oversee $500bn Neom project

Neom will be led by the country's sovereign wealth fund, which is the GCC's largest project developer

Saudi forms new company to oversee $500bn Neom project
Neom has a development value of $500bn and has been described as the world's most ambitious project.

Saudi Arabia has created a private joint-stock company called Neom to lead development of the proposed $500 billion futuristic city.

The company will be controlled by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the largest project developer in the GCC.

Eng Nadhmi Al-Nasr, who has previously led the development of megaprojects such as Saudi Arabia's Shaybah oil field, has been named chief executive officer of the Neom stock company.

Al-Nasr said Neom will “have a unique and historical role to play” in the development of the 26,500 km sq megacity.

Creating Neom as a stock company will transform the gigaproject “into a global centre for attracting investment, knowledge, innovation, and technology in order to compete with all economic capital cities”, he added.

Saudi Press Agency said the move also guarantees the “legal status” to set up 16 economic sectors for Neom, located in the northwest of the kingdom along the Red Sea.

The high-tech city, unveiled in 2017, will feature ground-breaking technology and renewable energy infrastructure within its key sectors.

Its economic hubs will focus on the future of energy, water, tourism, media, health, wellbeing, sport, food, mobility, biotech, manufacturing, and livability. Driving innovation across these industries is part of the kingdom’s vision to wean its economy away from oil.

Construction of Neom Bay, the first phase of the gigaproject, will begin in Q1 2019 and finish in 2020. Enhancement works for the airport at Sharma, which will become a hub for flights to and from Neom, will be completed this year as part of the project's Phase 1.

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