Saudi Arabia’s City of the Future

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readNov 28, 2020

Dreaming the impossible dream: A 10,000 square-mile mega-city, with flying cars and an artificial moon, powered by renewable energy.

Tariq Al-Tamimi, Nadhmi Al-Nasr and Malek Antabi are joined by representatives of NEOM, SATCO and Tamimi Global Co. Ltd. (photo:

Imagine a city with more robots than people; where flying cars shoot through a night sky adorned by an artificial moon and the beaches glow in the dark.

“The future has a new home.” Or perhaps, home has a new future.

Meet the proposed city of “Neom”, a combination of the Greek word (Neo) and the Arabic word (Mostaqbal) meaning “New Future”: An independent economic zone, a technological proving ground of epic proportions, and the ambitious brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Artist’s rendering of Neom. (photo:

In 2017, the Saudi Crown Prince announced a $500 billion dollar project geared toward reducing Saudi Arabia’s over-dependence on fossil fuels and the fossil fuels market; an enormous mega-city.

The proposed international hub, intended by the Saudi royal family to rival other thriving centers of commerce, finance, and innovation like New York, is to be powered exclusively by renewable energy.

The city will be focused on the areas of energy, water, mobility, biotech, food, manufacturing, media, entertainment, and culture and fashion.

“Starting Neom from scratch, with independent systems and regulations, will ensure the availability of best services without social limitations,” the Saudi Crown Prince said at the first board meeting of Neom.

In conceptualizing this new metropolis, complete with disruptive eco-technologies like autonomous public transportation vehicles, it proved easier to design a new city with new technology than integrate new technology into old infrastructure.

For Saudi traditionalists, MBS can appease them with the fact that Neom will be an independent country from Saudi Arabia, and as such, edicts…