Saudi Arabia announces plans for $500 billion mega city in region

Following last week’s announcement that Toronto is to create a digital city along its waterfront, Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to build a $500 billion ‘mega-city’ spanning parts of several countries. The plans announced this week are a response to the need for the kingdom to produce a more diverse economic base and will create a zone that will run on alternative energy and have its own legal system and employment laws. The region will be known as Neom, a name derived from terminology meaning ‘New Future’ and will span parts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan along the Red Sea coastline as a 26,500 square kilometre development of previously untouched land (pictured). Plans inevitably include technologies such as driverless cars, drones and robots, and were unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh this week. The zone is expected to cost around $500 billion (£380.5 billion) and will be powered entirely by renewable energy and focus on industries including energy, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment.