Mohammed bin Salman, the “revolutionary” crown prince of Saudi Arabia is now planning to build a mega city with the latest robotics to take his mission of reforming the conservative kingdom and make it a world-class modern society.
The Prince has already announced that he is planning to build a new city on the Red Sea coast, with a dream to offer a promising lifestyle not available in the present day Saudi Arabia. It is likely that the mega city project will be called “NEOM” and will not be handled by the state government but will be independently financed by investors who will be consulted at all the stages of the development of this highly ambitious project. As per a statement released on Tuesday at an international business conference in Riyadh the project will be backed by more than $500 billion from the Saudi government, its sovereign wealth fund and local and international investors.
The announcement of this extravagant project has taken many investors by immense surprise as the young prince has still just risen to power as he is on his way to ride Saudi Arabia in the post-oil era. After his being crowned to the throne, it has been less than two years in which he has revealed plans to sell a stake in oil giant Saudi Aramco and create the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and at the same time has also ended a ban on female drivers after a long period of time.
Mohammed bin Salman made a rare public appearance at the conference to throw light on the project and told the bankers and economic policy makers present there that the kingdom is about to move to a “new generation of cities.” It is said that NEOM will be powered by clean energy and will have no room for anything traditional. However, this bold announcement will face both, a series of doubt and criticism from the people who do not believe in this ambitious project’s chances of success and a whole lot of welcome and appreciation from the believe who support the prince and his intention to transform and give a new shape to the kingdom. It is only the wagon wheel of time which will justify or nullify the plans of the prince in the future.