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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Nearly 20 percent of infrastructure works at NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion megacity, have been completed, according to a top official.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, NEOM’s CEO, said that works are progressing in the futuristic city as per schedule in an interview with Al Arabiya TV.
The project is set to run on 100 percent renewable energy when completed, and will encompass several megaprojects.
To showcase the works, NEOM released a video earlier this week which shows the rapid progress being made on the project.
The video includes real-world footage of the large-scale constructions across NEOM regions which includes The Line, Trojena, OXAGON, and the luxury island development project Sindalah.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Sindalah Island project, which will extend over an area of approximately 840,000 sq. m and the island will act as a main gateway to the Red Sea for guests from early 2024.
The video sets out the key achievements made in 2022, including the launch of Tonomus, the first company to be established as a full-fledged subsidiary of NEOM that will integrate artificial intelligence technology in the buildings of the mega project.
The three-minute clip also shows construction workers being deployed to lay the foundations for the megaproject.
“A project unique in scale, already being built in a place with 95 percent of the land protected for nature where rewilding is in motion, bringing animals back to their natural habitat,” the clip said.
The video also portrayed the works which are currently underway in Trojena, the mountain destination which will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
In December, during an exclusive interview with Arab News, Peter Fitzhardinge, head of Tourism Marketing at NEOM, said that the 2029 Asian winter games at Trojena will showcase how NEOM will use innovation to carry out the event in a meticulous manner.
“NEOM is all about innovation. I think now, not only we have to launch Trojena to show the vision, but we have to also showcase how we can bring Asian winter games into reality for people to come and participate in winter sports in NEOM,” said Fitzhardinge.
The clip also shows the works that are going on in OXAGON, a futuristic industrial city touted to be the largest floating industrial complex in the world upon completion.
While speaking to Arab News at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 30 Al-Nasr had noted that OXAGON also has all the potential to become a world-class tourist destination, where visitors can come and see how the future will be.
“It is in OXAGON where all industries will be, and it is the port of NEOM. Yet, we would like to see tourists spending a day or two in OXAGON. They will see the future of industries in OXAGON. Everything in NEOM is built for the future era. We want them to come and see how future sea ports will operate,” said Al-Nasr.
Another subsidiary that was launched in 2022 was Enowa, responsible for managing NEOM’S sustainable energy and water systems. Enowa will also have the world’s largest green hydrogen plant which will catalyze NEOM’s sustainability journey.
“At NEOM, we are addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity by bringing together a community of the brightest minds committed to reimagining what a sustainable future will look like in 20 to 30 years, and building it today. We are redefining the future now. NEOM is open for business,” Al-Nasr said in a separate statement.
It also highlighted NEOM’s $175 million investment in “Volocopter, the next generation of transport.”
“It’s why athletes from 25 countries participated in the NEOM Beach Games and it’s why the planet’s fastest growing lifestyle brand, Ennismore, has become the first hotel partner for Trojena,” said the narrator in the video.
Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia now also offers direct flights to NEOM from London and Dubai.
The video also highlighted NEOM’s growing media sector, which has supported 25 productions in 18 months, working with names such as the BBC, Apple TV and NBC.
NEOM also partnered with McLaren to drive innovation and talent development in electrical motorsport. The megacity, in cooperation with the Asian Football Confederation, also launched the Shuhub Community Program to “develop the next generation of Saudi footballers.”
The video also highlighted NEOM’s efforts to “protect the secrets hidden at the bottom of the Red Sea” with OceanX.
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