The Saudi Arabian government have started awarding contracts for the development of Neom, the giant business zone in the northwest of the country. Local construction companies have already been appointed to build palaces.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans for the 26,500 square km city at an international investment conference last October. It is expected that the public and private investment in the area will total $500 billion.
The 5 royal palaces for the king, crown prince and other senior royals are to be located on the Red Sea coast, approximately 150 kilometres west of the city of Tabuk, these are among the first contracts awarded for Neom.
The Saudi Binladin Group, the biggest construction firm in Saudi Arabia has been chosen to build one of the palaces and banks have commenced offering financing.
The project design, a mix of modern and Moroccan-style, will contain opulent buildings; the complex of palaces will also include a helipad, a marina and a golf course.
As Neom will have its own judicial system and legislation to attract international investors, its’ focus is on industries such as energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and tourism.
Companies, such as Japan’s Softbank, have announced their interest in investing in Neom, however, no contracts have been finalized.