Neom: Unveiling the Tech Oasis in Saudi Arabia’s Desert

The Neom smart city project in Saudi Arabia has the potential to greatly boost the country’s high-tech ecosystem, even if only a fraction of the planned initiatives are implemented. Many of the companies and initiatives within Neom have a strong focus on technology, including renewable energy, autonomous vehicles, and Industry 4.0 infrastructure. These projects will rely heavily on computer and communications technologies, much of which will be imported from outside the region. The project has evolved since its announcement in 2017, with the transnational dimension fading away and the focus being confined to Saudi Arabia. However, the goal is to make Neom a global hub. A new phase of development began in 2021 and 2022, bringing technology to Neom in a significant way and giving rise to distinct sub-projects. One of these sub-projects is Trojena, a ski resort in the Neom mountains that has won the rights to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games. Other developments include Oxagon, a port city with a focus on automated industrial processes, and Sindalah, a luxury island on the Red Sea. The Neom project has also given rise to spinoff companies such as Tonomus, Enowa, and Topian, each with their own focus on technology and sustainability. Neom is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, and may have future share offerings to increase private investor interest. The PIF has been aggressively pushing into technology-focused sectors to enhance Saudi Arabia’s position as an emerging technology hub. Creating new jobs and building skills are important goals for the government, although there are challenges in attracting people to the remote areas targeted by Neom. Despite these challenges, Neom has gained significant global media attention and showcases a high-risk, high-reward approach to economic development.

Unlock your business potential with our expert guidance. Get in touch now!