Saudi based smart city planned for 2039

May 2023

Neom is a 26,500 km2 , $500 billion smart city, being developed in north-western Saudi Arabia and will be powered exclusively by renewable energy sources.

The city's plans include multiple regions, including a floating industrial complex, global trade hub, tourist resorts, and a linear city. The majority of the city is said to be complete by 2039 and will offer both sunny beaches and snow-capped mountains. NEOM’s unique location will provide residents with enhanced livability while protecting 95% of the surrounding natural landscape.

The futuristic mega-city will be built almost 30 times the size of New York City and will be built from the ground up making it one of the world's most ambitious projects. With a planned target of 16 boroughs it would be estimated to be home to a million people by 2030 and nine million by 2045.

Features of the smart city

- Cloud seeding technology to make artificial clouds and rainfall.
- Leading education system with classes taught by holographic teachers.
- Jurassic Park style island for tourists with robotic dinosaurs.
- Giant artificial moon to illuminate the darkness at night.
- Flying cars to be used instead of road driving.
- More Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than in any other city.
- Glow-in-the-dark sand added to the beaches on the coast.
- 100 mile long vertical skyscraper to house millions of people.
- Giant floating port called The Oxagon covering around 97 square miles

Dr Manal Shehabi, an energy expert at the University of Oxford, says that when evaluating how sustainable Neom can be, there are many things to consider. Will food be produced locally in a system that doesn't use an excessive amount of resources or will it rely on food imports from abroad?

The website claims that Neom will become "the world's most food self-sufficient city". It sets out a vision for vertical farming and greenhouses - revolutionary for a country that currently imports about 80% of its food.

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