Smart territories take a new turning point with the NEOM’s project.
Located at the extreme northwestern side of Saudi Arabia near Tabuk, this project carries a lot of promises and opportunities for Arabian and world citizens.
The NEOM Chief Executive Officer Nadhmi AL-NASR placed great hopes in this project. Indeed, he said : “We are redefining the future now”.
Is this the future for humans, the environment, or business?
What is the origin of the term “NEOM”?
NEOM is a company belonging to Mohammed BIN SALMAN, the actual Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia since 2017.
The origin of the term “NEOM” comes from the Latin word “NEO” meaning “New” to which is added the letter “M” as a suffix for “Mustaqbal” meaning “future” in Arabic.
It has been said that NEOM has an ambition to become a “new future”, according to Saudi Arabia’s prince.
What does the project consists of?
Neom is a smart territory project planned for 2030. It is composed of four independent regions.
Firstly, “Sindalah”, a luxuriant island of eight hundred and forty thousand square meters, will include a marina of eighty-six berths, a beach club, three luxury hotels, a yacht club, several sport clubs, and a spa. It will resemble a kind of paradise for the two thousand and four hundred visitors planned by 2028.
This island will be located in the red sea, close to the Mediterranean Sea, giving it a strategic position.
The project is sold as “a playground” for world luxury travelers.
Therefore, this project is not inclusive, people with low income will be naturally excluded from the targeted public.
Secondly, “The Line” is an ambitious urban architecture project.
It will consist of a city of one hundred and seventy kilometers in length. The purpose here is to build a city into a building without roads, cars, or emissions.
The Line aims to guarantee no pollution for the environment and zero traffic accidents. Therefore, putting forward a society around humans and not technology.
It certainly resembles a sort of ideal place and it will be interesting to see the result of this part of NEOM’s project.
Thirdly, “Trojena”, a mountain landscape, aims to become a year-round touristic and attractive territory.
This region will implement numerous activities depending on the period of the year.
Curiously enough, the year is not cut out like the current seasons (winter, spring, fall and summer) but rather in “wellness”, “winter”, “adventure”, and “lake seasons”.
The most futuristic idea presented is the creation of “the Vault”, a folded village which is a contact point between the technology, the entertainment and a warm community.
Trojena highlights the eccentric and technological complexity of the NEOM’s project.
Fourthly, “Oxagon”, an industrial hexagon aims to become the future for advanced and clean industries.
Some key figures below 100% of clean energy will be used, 48 square kilometers of core development area, 70 000 jobs and 90 000 inhabitants by 2030.
Oxagon consists of a hub along the Suez Canal and it plans to contribute to 13% of global trade.
This project, like the other regions of NEOM, intends to connect technology, human and nature in order for them to have a harmonious relationship where they don’t negatively impact on each other.
Will the NEOM project be a Prince’s fantasy or a concret project ?
The construction of NEOM’s territory remains abstract ; indeed, it must be build from scratch. Even if this project testifies of some environmental, architectural, and human challenges, the worksite has begun.
However, NEOM’s construction faced some difficulties, among them a part of the relief being damaged by the edification of The Line, some demonstrations for stopping the job site.
An article written by the Qatarian TV channel Al Jazeera attests the death of a manifestant during the constructions. This event brings a negative impact on the image of NEOM. Currently, international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) are focused on the project.
For example, the English association ALQST for Human Right attentively follows what is happening in Saudi Arabia.
With an investment of nearly 500 billion dollars, it would be hard to believe that the Crown Prince doesn’t go through with the project.
In conclusion, time will do its work, revealing if NEOM will be able to reach its goal of becoming a new “mustaqbal” for the world by 2030.
Ugo GAROSCIO VOLTO
M2 Cyberjustice – Promotion 2022/2023